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Henrg W. Sage |; 

1891 ?§?#:•? 

A-Mi^ZlO ...::..^., 

iron« » . .JP"r*" UnlveraHy Library 
E302.6.H2 A4 1865 


Obsgrvations on certain documents in "Th 


3 1924 032 742 664 


The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 

Hamilton Club Series. 

No 2. 


And will be ijfued in June, No. 3 of the Hamilton Club Series. 

" The Hamiltoniad ; or. An Extinguisher for the 
Royal Faction of New-England. With Copious 
Notes, Illuftrative, Biographical, Philofophical, Criti- 
cal, Admonitory, and Political ; being intended as a 
High-Heeled Shoe for all Limping Republicans. By 
Anthony Fafquin, Efq." 



Certain Documents 


"The History of the United States 



Printed for the Hamilton Club. 


/\. liiloT-'^O 


Edition 50 copies 8vo. 
15 " 4to. 



O N 















HE spirit of jacobinism, if not entire- 
ly a new spirit, has at least been 
cloathed witb a more gigantic body 
and armed witli more powerful wea- 
pons than it ever before possessed. 
It is perhaps not too much to say, that it threatens 
more extensive and complicated mischiefs to the 
world than have hitherto flowed from the three great 
scourges of mankind, War, Pestilence and Famine. 
To what point it will ultimately lead society, it is im- 
possible for human foresight to pronounce ; but there 
is just ground to apprehend that its progress may be 
marked with calamities of which the dreadful inci- 
dents of the French revolution afford a very faint im- 



age. Incessantly busy in undermining all the props 
of public security and private happiness, it seems to 
threaten the political and moral world with a com- 
plete overthrow. 

A principal engine, by which this spirit endeavours 
to accomplish its purposes is that of calumny. It is 
essential to its success that the influence of men of 
upright principles, disposed and able to resist its en- 
terprizes, shall be at all events destroyed. Not con- 
tent with traducing their best efforts for the public 
good, with misrepresenting their purest motives, with 
inferring criminality from actions innocent or laud- 
able, the most direct falsehoods are invented and pro- 
pagated with undaunted effrontery and unrelenting 
perseverance. Lies often detected and refuted are still 
revived and repeated, in the hope that the refutation 
may have been forgotten, or that the frec[uency and 
boldness of accusation may supply the place of truth 
and proof. The most profligate men are encouraged, 
probably bribed, certainly with patronage if not with 
money, to become informers and accusers. And when 
tales, which their characters alone ought to discredit, 


are refuted by evidence and facts which oblige the 
patrons of them to abandon their support, they still 
continue in corroding whispers to wear away the re- 
putations which they could not directly subvert. If, 
luckily for the conspirators against honest fame, any 
little foible or folly can be traced out in one, whom 
they desire to persecute, it becomes at once in their 
hands a two-edged sword, by which to wound the pub- 
lic character and stab the private felicity of the per- 
son. With such men, nothing is sacred. Even the 
peace of an unoffending and amiable wife is a wel- 
come repast to their insatiate fury against the hus- 

In the gratification of this baleful spirit, we not 
only hear the jacobin news-papers continually ring 
with odious insinuations and charges against many of 
our most virtuous citizens; but, not satisfied with 
this, a measure new in this country has been lately 
adopted to give greater efficacy to the system of de- 
famation — peiiodical pamphlets issue from the same 
presses, full freighted with misrepresentation and 
falshood, artfully calculated to hold up the opponents 


of the Faction to the jealousy and distrust of the pre- 
sent generation and if possible, to transmit their names 
with dishonor to posterity. Even the great and mul- 
tiplied services, the tried and rarely equalled virtues 
of a Washington, can secure no exemption. 

How then can I, with pretensions every way inferior 
expect to escape ? And if truly this be, as every ap- 
pearance indicates, a conspiracy of vice against virtue, 
ought I not rather to be flattered, that I have been 
so long and so peculiarly an object of persecution ? 
Ought I to regret, if there be any thing about me, so 
formidable to the Faction as to have made me worthy 
to be distinguished by the plenitude of its rancour 
and venom ? 

It is certain that I have had a pretty copious expe- 
rience of its malignity. For the honor of human 
nature, it is to be hoped that the examples are not 
numerous of men so greatly calumniated and perse- 
cuted as I have been, with so little cause. 

I dare appeal to my immediate fellow citizens of 
whatever political party for the truth of the assertion, 
that no man ever carried into public life a more un- 


blemislied pecuniary reputation, than that with which 
I undertook the office of Secretary of the Treasury ; 
a character marked by an indifference to the acquisi- 
tion of property rather than by an avidity for it. 

With such a character, however natural it was to 
expect criticism and opposition, as to the political 
principles which I might manifest or be supposed to 
entertain, as to the wisdom or expediency of the plans, 
which I might propose, or as to the skill, care or dili- 
gence with which the business of my department 
might be executed, it was not natural to expect nor 
did I expect that my fidelity or integrity in a pecuni- 
ary sense, would ever be called in question. 

But on this head a mortifying disappointment has 
been experienced. Without the slightest foundation, 
I have been repeatedly held up to the suspicions of 
the world as a man directed in his administration by 
the most sordid views ; who did not scruple to sacri- 
fice the public to his private interest, his duty and 
honor to the sinister accumulation of wealth. 

Merely because I retained an opinion once common 
to me and the most influential of those who opposed 


me, That the pvhlic debt ought to be provided for on the 
basis of the contract upon which it was created, I have 
been wickedly accused with wantonly increasing the 
public biirtben many millions, in order to promote a 
stock-jobbing interest of myself and friends. 

Merely because a member of the House of Repre- 
sentatives entertained a different idea from me, as to 
the legal effect of appropriation laws, and did not un- 
derstand accounts, I was exposed to the imputation of 
having committed a deliberate and criminal violation 
6f the laws and to the suspicion of being a defaulter 
for millions ; so as to have been driven to the painful 
necessity of calling for a formal and solemn inquiry. 

The inquiry took place. It was conducted by a 
committee of fifteen members of the House of Repre- 
sentatives — a majority of them either my decided po- 
litical enemies or inclined against me, some of them 
the most active and intelligent of my opponents, with- 
out a single man, who being known to be friendly to 
me, possessed also such knowledge and experience of 
public affairs as would enable him to counteract inju- 


rious intrigues. Mr. Giles of Virginia who had com- 
menced the attack was of the committee. 

The officers and hooks of the treasury were exam- 
ined. The transactions between the several banks 
and the treasury were scrutinized. Even my private 
accounts with those institutions were laid open to the 
committee ; and every possible facility given to the 
inquiry. The result was a complete demonstration 
that the suspicions which had been entertained were 

Those which had taken the fastest hold were, that 
the public monies had been made subservient to loans, 
discounts, and accommodations to myself and friends. 
The committee in reference to this point reported 
thus : — " It appears from the affidavits of the Cashier 
and several officers of the bank of the United States 
and several of the directors, the Cashier, and other 
officers of the bank of New- York, that the Secretary 
of the Treasury never has either directly or indirectly, 
for himself or any other person, procured any discount 
or credit from either of the said banks upon the basis 
of any public monies which at any time have been 


deposited therein under his direction : And the com- 
mittee are satisfied, that no monies of the United States, 
whether before or after they have passed to the credit 
of the Treasurer have ever been directly or indirectly 
used for or applied to any pwrposes but those of the 
government, except so far as all monies deposited in 
a bank are concerned in the general operations thereof." 

The report, which I have always understood was 
unanimous, contains in other respects, with consider- 
able detail the materials of a complete exculpation. 
My enemies, finding no handle for their malice, aban- 
doned the pursuit. 

Yet unwilling to leave any ambiguity upon the 
point, when I determined to resign my office, I gave 
early previous notice of it to the House of Eepresent- 
atives, for the declared purpose of affording an op- 
portunity for legislative crimination, if any ground 
for it had been discovered. Not the least step towards 
it was taken. From which I have a right to infer the 
universal conviction of the House, that no cause ex- 
isted, and to consider the result as a complete vindi- 


On anotlier occasion, a worthless man of the name 
of Fraunces found encouragement to bring forward to 
the House of Representatives a formal charge against 
me of unfaithful conduct in office. A Committe of 
the House was appointed to inquire, consisting in this 
case also, partly of some of my most intelligent and 
active enemies. — The issue was an unanimous excul- 
pation of me as will appear by the following extract 
from the Journals of the House of Representatives of 
the 19th of February 1794. 

" The House resumed the consideration of the re- 
" port of the Committee, to whom was referred the 
" memorial of Andrew G. Fraunces : whereupon, 

" Resolved, That the reasons assigned by the secre- 
" tary of the treasury, for refusing payment of the 
" warrants referred to in the memorial, are fully 
" sufficient to justify his conduct ; and that in the 
" whole course of this transaction, the secretary and 
" other officers of the treasury, have acted a meritori- 
" ous part towards the public." 

" Resolved, That the charge exhibited in the me- 
" morial, against the secretary of the treasury, rela- 



" tive to the purchase of the pension of Baron de 
" Glaubeck is wholly illiberal and groundless."* 

Was it not to have been expected that these re- 
peated demonstrations of the injustice of the accusa- 
tions hazarded against me would have abashed the 
enterprise of my calumniators? However natural such 
an expectation may seem, it would betray an ignorance 
of the true character of the Jacobin system. It is a 
maxim deeply ingrafted in that dark system, that no 
character, however upright, is a match for constantly 
reiterated attacks, however false. It is well understood 
by its disciples, that every calumny makes some pro- 
selites and even retains some ; since justification sel- 
dom circulates as rapidly and as widely as slander. The 
number of those who from doubt proceed to suspicion 
and thence to belief of imputed guilt is continually 
augmenting; and the public mind fatigued at length 
with resistance to the calumnies which eternally 
assail it, is apt in the end to sit down with the opin- 

* Would it be believed after all this, that Mr. Jefferson, Vice 
President of the United States would write to this Fraunces friendly 
letters ? Yet such is the fact as ;will be seen in the Appendix, Nos. 


ion that a person so often accused cannot be entirely 

Relying upon this weakness of human nature, the 
Jacobin Scandal-Club though often defeated constant- 
ly return to the charge. Old calumnies are served 
up a-fresh and every pretext is seized to add to the 
catalogue — The person whom they seek to blacken, 
by dint of repeated strokes of their brush, becomes a 
demon in their own eyes, though he might be pure 
and bright as an angel but for the daubing of those 
wizard painters. 

Of all the vile attempts which have been made to 
injure my character that which has been lately re- 
vived in No. V and VI, of the history of the United 
States for 1796 is the most vile. This it will be im- 
possible for any intelligent, I will not say candid, man 
to doubt, when he shall have accompanied me through 
the examination. 

I owe perhaps to my friends an apology for conde- 
scending to give a public explanation. A just pride 
with reluctance stoops to a formal vindication against 
so despicable a contrivance and is inclined rather to 


oppose to it the uniform evidence of an upright cha- 
racter. This would be my conduct on the present 
occasion, did not the tale seem to derive a sanction 
from the names of three men of some weight and 
consequence in the society : a circumstance, which I 
trust will excuse me for paying attention to a slander 
that without this prop, would defeat itself by intrinsic 
circumstances of absurdity and malice. 

The charge against me is a connection with one 
James Eeynolds for purposes of improper pecuniary 
speculation. My. real crime is an amorous connection 
with his wife for a considerable time with his privity 
and connivance, if not originally brought on by a 
combination between the husband and wife with the 
design to extort money from me. 

This confession is not made without a blush. I 
cannot be the apologist of any vice because the 
ardour of passion may have made it mine. I can never 
cease to condemn myself for the pang, which it may 
inflict in a bosom eminently intitled to all my grati- 
tude, fidelity and love. But that bosom will approve, 
that even at so great an expence, I should efiectually 


■wipe away a more serious stain from a name, which 
it cherishes with no less elevation than tenderness. 
The public too will I trust excuse the confession. The 
necessity of it to my defence against a more heinous 
charge could alone have extorted from me so painful 
an indecorum. 

Before I proceed to an exhibition of the positive 
proof which repels the charge, I shall analize the 
documents from which it is deduced, and I am mis- 
taken if with discerning and candid minds more 
would be necessary. But I desire to obviate the sus- 
picions of the most suspicious. 

The first reflection which occurs on a perusal of the 
documents is that it is morally impossible I should 
have been foolish as well as depraved enough to em- 
ploy so vile an instrument as Reynolds for such in- 
significant ends, as are indicated by different parts of 
the story itself — My enemies to be sure have kindly 
pourtrayed me as another Chartres on the score of 
moral principle. But they have been ever bountiful 
in ascribing to me talents. It has suited their purpose 
to exaggerate such as I may possess, and to attri- 


bute to them an influence to ■whicli they are not 
intitled. But the present accusation imputes to me 
as much folly as wickedness — All the documents shew, 
and it is otherwise matter of notoriety, that Eeynolds 
was an obscure, unimportant and profligate man. No- 
thing could be more weak, because nothing could be 
more unsafe than to make use of such an instrument ; 
to use him too without any intermediate agent more 
worthy of confidence who might keep me out of 
sight, to write him numerous letters recording the 
objects of the improper connection (for this is pre- 
tended and that the letters were afterwards burnt at 
my request) to unbosom myself to him with a prodi- 
gality of confidence, by very unnecessarily telling 
him, as he alleges, of a connection in speculation be- 
tween myself and Mr. Duer. It is very extraordinary, 
if the head of the money department of a country, 
being unprincipled enough to sacrifice his trust and 
his integrity, could not have contrived objects of pro- 
fit suflSciently large to have engaged the co-operation 
of men of far greater importance than Eeynolds, and 
with whom there could have been due safety, and 


Bhould have been driven to the necessity of unkennel- 
ling such a reptile to be the instrument of his cupidity. 
But, moreover, the scale of the concern with Rey- 
nolds, such as it is presented, is contemptibly narrow 
for a rapacious speculating secretary of the treasury. 
Clingman, Reynolds and his wife were manifestly in 
very close confidence with each other. It seems there 
•was a free communication of secrets. Yet in club- 
bing their different items of information as to the 
supplies of money which Reynolds received from me, 
what do they amount to ? Clingman states that Mrs. 
Reynolds told him, that at a certain time her husband 
had received from me upwards of eleven hundred 
dollars. A note is produced which shews that at one 
time fifty dollars were sent to him, and another note 
is produced, by which and the information of Rey- 
nolds himself through Clingman, it appears that at 
another time 300 dollars were asked and refused — 
Another sum of 200 dollars is spoken of by Clingman, 
as having been furnished to Reynolds at some other 
time. What a scale of speculation is this for the head 
of a public treasury, for one who in the very publica- 


tion that brings forward the charge is represented as 
having procured to be funded at forty millions a debt 
■which ought to have been discharged at ten or fif- 
teen millions for the criminal purpose of enriching 
himself and his friends? He must have been a clum- 
sy knave, if he did not secure enough of this excess 
of twenty-five or thirty millions, to have taken away 
all inducement to risk his character in such bad hands 
and in so huckstering a way — or to have enabled him, 
if he did employ such an agent, to do it with more 
means and to better purjjose. It is curious, that this 
rapacious secretary should at one time have furnished 
his speculating agent with the paltry sum of fifty dol- 
lars, at another, have refused him the inconsiderable 
sum of 800 dollars, declaring upon his honor that it 
was not in his power to furnish it. This declaration 
was true or not; if the last the refusal ill comports 
with the idea of a speculating connection — if the 
first, it is very singular that the head of the treasury 
engaged without scruple in schemes of profit, should 
have been destitute of so small a sum — But if we 
suppose this officer to be living upon an inadequate 


salary, without any collateral pursuits of gain, tlie ap- 
pearances then are simple and intelligible enough, 
applying to them the true key. 

It appears that Reynolds and Clingman -were detect- 
ed by the then comptroller of the treasury, in the 
odious crime of suborning a witness to commit per- 
jury, for the purpose of obtaining letters of adminis- 
tration on the estate of a person who was living, in 
order to receive a small sum of money due to him 
from the treasury — It is certainly extraordinary that 
the confidential agent of the head of that department 
should have been in circumstances to induce a resort 
to so miserable an expedient. It is odd, if there was 
a speculating connection, that it was not more profit- 
able both to the secretary and to his agent than are 
indicated by the circumstances disclosed. 

It is also a remarkable and very instructive fact, 
that notwithstanding the great confidence and inti- 
macy, which subsisted between Clingman, Reynolds 
and his wife, and which continued till after the period 
of the liberation of the two former from the prosecu- 
tion against them, neither of them has ever specified 



the objects of the pretended connection in specula- 
tion between Reynolds and me. The pretext that the 
letters which contained the evidence were destroyed 
is no answer. They could not have been forgotten 
and might have been disclosed from memory. The 
total omission of this could only have proceeded from 
the consideration that detail might have led to detec- 
tion. The destruction of letters besides is a fiction, 
which is refuted not only by the general improbabili- 
ty, that I should put myself upon paper with so des- 
picable a person on a subject which might expose me 
to infamy, but by the evidence of extreme caution on 
my part in this particular, resulting from the laconic 
and disguised form of the notes which are produced — 
They prove incontestibly that there was an unwilling- 
ness to trust Reynolds with my hand writing. The 
true reason was that I apprehended he might make 
use of it to impress upon others the belief of some 
pecuniary connection with me, and besides implicat- 
ing my character might render it the engine of a false 
credit, or turn it to some other sinister use — Hence 
the disguise ; for my conduct in admitting at once 


and witliout hesitation that the notes were from me 
proves that it was never my intention by the expedi- 
ent of disguising my hand to shelter myself from any 
serious inquiry. 

The accusation against me was never heard of 'till 
Clingman and Keynolds were under prosecution by 
the treasury for an infamous crime — It will be seen 
by the document No. I (a) that during the endeavours 
of Clingman to obtain relief, through the interposi- 
tion of Mr. Muhlenberg, he made to the latter the 
communication of my pretended criminality. It will 
be further seen by document No. II that Reynolds 
had while in prison conveyed to the ears of Messrs. 
Monroe and Venable that he could give intelligence of 
my being concerned in speculation, and that he also 
supposed that he was kept in prison by a design on 
my part to oppress him and drive him away. And by 
his letter to Clingman of the 13 of December, after 
he was released from prison, it also appears that he 
was actuated by a spirit of revenge against me : for 
he declares that he will have satisfaction from me at 
all events ; adding, as addressed to Clingman, " And 
you only I trust." 


Three important inferences flow from these circum- 
stances — one that the accusation against me was an 
auxiliary to the eiforts of Clingman and Reynolds to 
get released from a disgraceful prosecution — another 
that there was a vindictive spirit against me at least 
on the part of Eeynolds — the third, that he confided 
in Clingman as a coadjutor in the plan of vengeance. 
These circumstances, according to every estimate of 
the credit due to accusers, ought to destroy their tes- 
timony. To what credit are persons intitled, who in 
telling a story are governed by the double motive of 
escaping from disgrace and punishment and of gra- 
tifying revenge ? — As to Mrs. Eeynolds, if she was not 
an accomplice, as it is too probable she was, her situ- 
ation would naturally subject her to the will of her 
husband. But enough besides will appear in the 
sequel to shew that her testimony merits no attention. 

The letter which has been just cited deserves a 
more particular attention — As it was produced by 
Clingman, there is a chasm of three lines, which lines 
are manifestly essential to explain the sense. It may 
be inferred from the context, that these deficient lines 


would unfold the cause of the resentment which i^ 
expressed. 'Twas from them that might, have been 
I'earnt the true nature of the transaction. The ex- 
punging of them is a violent presumption that they 
would have contradicted the purpose for which the 
letter was produced. — A witness offering such a mu- 
tilated piece discredits himself. The mutilation ia 
alone satisfactory proof of contrivance and imposition. 
The manner of accounting for it is frivolous. 

The words of the letter are strong — satisfaction is 
to be had at all events, per fas et nefas, and Clingman 
is the chosen confidential agent of the laudable plan 
of vengeance. It must be confessed he was not want- 
ing in his part. 

Reynolds, as will be seen by No. II (a) alleges that 
a merchant came to him and offered as a volunteer to 
be his bail, who he suspected had been instigated to it 
by me, and after being decoyed to the place the mer- 
chant wished to carry him to, he refused being his 
bail, unless he would deposit a sum of money to some 
considerable amount which he could not do and was 
in consequence committed to prison. Clingman (No. 


IV a) tells the same story in substance though with 
some difference in form leaving to be implied what 
Eeynolds expresses and naming Henry Seckel as tho 
merchant. The deposition of this respectable citizen 
(No. XXIII) gives the lie to both, and shews that he 
was in fact the agent of Clingman, from motives of 
good will to him, as his former book-keeper, that he 
never had any communication with me concerning 
either of them till after they were both in custody, 
that when he came as a messenger to me from one of 
them, I not only declined interposing in their behalf, 
but informed Mr. Seckel that they had been guilty of 
a crime and advised him to have nothing to do with 

This single fact goes far to invalidate the whole 
story. It shews plainly the disregard of truth and 
the malice by which the parties were actuated. Other 
important inferences are to be drawn from the trans- 
action. Had I been conscioiis that I had any thing 
to fear from Reynolds of the nature which has been 
pretended, should I have warned Mr. Seckel against 
having any thing to do with them ? Should I not 


rather have encouraged him to have come to their as- 
sistance ? Should I not have been eager to promote 
their liberation ? But this is not the only instance, 
in which I acted a contrary part. Clingman testifies 
in No. V. that I would not permit Fravnces a clerk in 
my ofSce to become their bail, but signified to him 
that if he did it, he must quit the department. 

Clingman states in No. IV. (a) that my note in an- 
swer to Reynolds' application for a loan towards a 
subscription to the Lancaster Turnpike was in his pos- 
session from about the time it was written (June 
1792.) This circumstance, apparently trivial, is very 
explanatory. To what end had Clingman the custody 
of this note all that time if it was not part of a pro- 
ject to lay the foundation for some false accusation? 

It appears from No. V. that Fraunces had said, or 
was stated to have said, something to my prejudice. 
If my memory serves me aright, it was that he had 
been my agent in some speculations. When Fraunces 
was interrogated concerning it, he absolutely denied 
that he said any thing of the kind. The charge 
which this same Fraunces afterwards preferred against 


me to the House of Kepresentatives, and the fate of 
it, have been already mentioned. It is illustrative of 
the nature of the combination which was formed 
against me. 

There are other features in the documents which 
:are relied upon to constitute the charge against me, 
that are of a nature to corroborate the inference to be 
'drawn from the particulars which have been noticed. 
But there is no need to be over minute. I am much 
mistaken if the view which has been taken of the 
subject is not sufficient, without any thing further, to 
establish my innocence with every discerning and fair 

I proceed in the next place to offer a frank and 
plain solution of the enigma, by giving a history of 
the origin and progress of my connection with Mrs. 
Reynolds, of its discovery, real and pretended by the 
husband, and of the disagreeable embarrassments to 
which it exposed me. This history will be supported 
by the letters of Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds, which leave 
no room for doubt of the principal facts, and at the 
same time explain with precision the objects of the 


little notes from me whicli have been published, 
shewing clearly that such of them as have related to 
money had no reference to any concern in specula- 
tion. As the situation which will be disclosed, will 
fully explain every ambigious appearance, and meet 
satisfactorily the written documents, nothing more 
can be requisite to my justification. For frail indeed 
will be the tenure by which the most blameless man 
will hold his reputation, if the assertions of three of 
the most abandoned characters in the community, 
two of them stigmatized by the discrediting crime 
which has been mentioned, are sufficient to blast it — 
The business of accusation would soon become in 
such a case, a regular trade, and men's reputations 
would be bought and sold like any marketable com- 

Some time in the summer of the year 1791 a wo- 
man called at my house in the city of Philadelphia 
and asked to speak with me in private. I attended 
her into a room apart from the family. With a seem- 
ing air of affliction she informed that she was a 
daughter of a Mr, Lewis, sister to a Mr. G. Livingston 



of the State of New- York, and wife to a Mr. Reynolds 
whose father was in the Commissary Department dur- 
ing the war with Great Britain, that her husband, 
who for a long time had treated her very cruelly, had 
lately left her, to live with another woman, and in so 
destitute a condition, that though desirous of return- 
ing to her friends she had not the means — that know- 
ing I was a citizen of New- York, she had taken the 
liberty to apply to my humanity for assistance. 

I replied, that her situation was a very interesting 
one — that I was disposed to aiford her assistance to 
convey her to her friends, but this at the moment not 
being convenient to me (which was the fact) I must 
request the place of her residence, to which I should 
bring or send a small supply of money. She told me 
the street and the number of the house where she 
lodged. In the evening I put a bank-bill in my 
pocket and went to the house. I inquired for Mrs. 
Reynolds and was shewn up stairs, at the head of 
which she met me and conducted me into a bed room. 
I took the bill out of my pocket and gave it to her. 
Some conversation ensued from which it was quickly 


apparent that other than pecuniary consolation would 
be acceptable. 

After this, I had frequent meetings with her, most 
of them at my own house ; Mrs. Hamilton with her 
children being absent on a- visit to her father. In 
the course of a short time, she mentioned to me that 
her husband had solicited a reconciliation, and aifected 
to consult me about it. I advised to it, and was soon 
after informed by her that it had taken place. She 
told me besides that her husband had been engaged 
in speculation, and she believed could give informa- 
tion respecting the conduct of some persons in the 
department which would be useful. I sent for Rey- 
nolds who came to me accordingly. 

In the course of our interview, he confessed that 
he had obtained a list of claims from a person in my 
department which he had made use of in his specula- 
tions. I invited him, by the expectation of my friend* 
ship and good offices, to disclose the person. After 
some affectation of scruple, he pretended to yield, 
and ascribed the infidelity to Mr. Duer from whom he 
said he had obtained the list in New- York, while he 
(Duer) was in the department. 


As Mr. Duer had resigned his ofSce some time be- 
fore the seat of government was removed to Philadel- 
phia ; this discovery, if it had been true, was not very 
important — yet it was the interest of my passions to 
appear to set value upon it, and to continue the expec- 
tation of friendship and good offices. Mr. Reynolds 
told me he was going to Virginia, and on his return 
would point out something in which I could serve 
him. I do not know but he said something about 
employment in a public office. 

On his return he asked employment as a clerk in 
the treasury department. The knowledge I had ac- 
quired of him was decisive against such a request. I 
parried it by telling him, what was true, that there 
was no vacancy in my immediate office, and that the 
appointment of clerks in the other branches of the 
department was left to the chiefs of the respective 
branches. Reynolds alleged, as Clingman relates No. 
IV (a) as a topic of complaint against me that I had 
promised him employment and had disappointed him. 
The situation with the wife would naturally incline 
me to conciliate this man. It is possible I may have 


used vague expressions which raised expectation ; but 
the more I learned of the person, the more inadmissi- 
ble his employment in a public office became. Some 
material reflections will occur here to a discerning 
mind. Could I have preferred my private gratification 
to the public interest, should I not have found the 
employment he desired for a man, whom it was so 
convenient to me, on my own statement, to lay under 
obligations. Had I had any such connection with him, 
as he has since pretended, is it likely that he would 
have wanted other employment ? Or is it likely that 
wanting it, I should have hazarded his resentment by 
a persevering refusal ? This little circumstance shews 
at once the delicacy of my conduct, in its public 
relations, and the impossibility of my having had the 
connection pretended with Reynolds. 

The intercourse with Mrs. Reynolds, in the mean 
time continued ; and, though various reflections, (in 
which a further knowledge of Reynold's character and 
the suspicion of some concert between the husband 
and wife bore a part) induced me to wish a cessation 
of it ; yet her conduct, made it extremely difficult to 


disentangle myself. All the appearances of violent 
attachment, and of agonising distress at the idea of a 
relinquishment, were played with a most imposing art. 
This, though it did not make me entirely the dupe of 
the plot, yet kept me in a state of irresolution. My 
sensibility, perhaps my vanity, admitted the possibil- 
ity of a real fondness ; and led me to adopt the plan of 
a gradual discontinuance rather than of a sudden in- 
terruption, as least calculated to give pain, if a real 
partiality existed. 

Mrs. Reynolds, on the other hand, employed every 
effort to keep up my attention and visits — Her pen 
was freely employed, and her letters were filled with 
those tender and pathetic effusions which would have 
been natural to a woman truly fond and neglected. 

One day, I received a letter from her, which is in 
the appendix (No. I. b) intimating a discovery by her 
husband. It was matter of doubt with me whether 
there had been really a discovery by accident, or whe- 
ther the time for the catastrophe of the plot was 

The same day, being the 15th of December 1791, 


I received from Mr. Reynolds tlie letter (No. II. b) by 
wbicli be itiforms me of tbe detection of bis wife in 
tbe act of writing a letter to me, and tbat be bad ob- 
tained from ber a discovery of ber connection witb me, 
suggesting tbat it was tbe consequence of an undue 
advantage taken of ber distress. 

In answer to tbis I sent bim a note, or message de- 
siring bim to call upon me at my office, wbicb I tbink 
be did tbe same day. 

He in substance repeated tbe topics contained in 
bis letter and concluded as be bad done tbere, tbat be 
was resolved to bave satisfaction. 

I replied tbat be knew best wbat evidence be bad 
of tbe alleged connection between me and bis wife, 
tbat I neitber admitted nor denied it — tbat if be knew 
of any injury I bad done bim, intitling bim to satis- 
faction, it lay witb bim to name it. 

He travelled over tbe same ground as before, and 
again concluded witb tbe same vague claim of satisfac- 
tion, but witbout specifying tbe kind, wbicb would 
content bim — It was easy to understand tbat be wanted 
money, and to prevent an explosion, I resolved to gra- 


tify him. But willing to manage his delicacy, if he 
had any, I reminded him that I had at our first inter- 
view made him a promise of service, that I was dispos- 
ed to do it as far as might be proper, and in my pow- 
er, and requested him to consider in what manner I 
could do it, and to write to me — He withdrew with a 
promise of compliance. 

Two days after, the 17th of December, he wrote 
me the letter (No. III. b) The evident drift of this 
letter is to exaggerate the injury done by me, to make 
a display of sensibility and to magnify the attone- 
ment, which was to be req^uired. It however comes to 
no conclusion, but proposes a meeting at the George 
Tavern, or at some other place more agreeable to me, 
which I should name. 

On receipt of this letter, I called upon Reynolds, 
and assuming a decisive tone, told him, that I was 
tired of his indecision, and insisted upon his declaring 
to me explicitly what it was he aimed at — He again 
promised to explain by letter. 

On the 19th, I received the promised letter (No. IV. b) 
the essence of which is that he was willing to take a 


thousand dollars as the plaister for his wounded 

I determined to give it to him, and did so in two 
payments, as per receipts (No. V and VI) dated the 
22d of December and 3d of January. It is a little re- 
markable, that an avaricious speculating secretary of 
the treasury should have been so straitened for money 
as to be obliged to satisfy an engagement of this sort 
by two different payments ! 

On the 17th of January, I received the letter No. V. 
by which Reynolds invites me to renew my visits to his 
wife. He had before requested that I would see her 
no more. The motive to this step appears in the con- 
clusion of the letter, I rely upon your befriending me, 
if there should any thing offer that should be to my ad- 
vantage, as you express a wish to befriend me." Is the 
pre-existence of a speculating connection reconcile- 
able with this mode of expression ? 

If I recollect rightly, I did not immediately accept 
the invitation, nor 'till after I had received several 
very importunate letters from Mrs. Reynolds — See her 
letters No. VIH, (b) IX, X. 



On the 24th. of March following, I received a letter 
from Reynolds, No. XI, and on the same day one from 
his vp^ife. No. XII. These letters will further illus- 
trate the obliging co-operation of the husband with 
his wife to aliment and keep alive my connection with 

The letters from Reynolds, No. XIII to XVI, are an 
additional comment upon the same plan. It was a 
persevering scheme to spare no pains to levy contribu- 
tions upon my passions on the one hand, and upon my 
apprehensions of discovery on the other. It is proba- 
bly to No. XIV that my note, in these words, was an 
answer : " To-morrojf what is requested will be done. 
'Twill hardly be possible to-dayP The letter presses 
for the loan which is asked for to-day. A scarcity of 
cash, which was not very uncommon, is believed to 
have modelled the reply. 

The letter No. XVII is a master-piece. The hus- 
band there forbids my future visits to his wife, chiefly 
because I was careful to avoid publicity. It was pro^ 
bably necessary to the project of some deeper treason 
against me that I should be seen at the house. Hence 


"was it contrived, with all the caution on my part to 
avoid it, that Clingman should occasionally see me. 

The interdiction was every way welcome, and was, I 
believe, strictly observed. On the second of June fol- 
lowing, I received the letter No. XVIII, from Mrs. 
Reynolds, which proves that it was not her plan yet to 
let me oif — It was probably the prelude to the letter 
from Reynolds, No. XIX, soliciting a loan of 300 dol- 
lars towards a subscription to the Lancaster Turnpike. 
Clingman's statement No. IV, admits, on the informa- 
tion of Reynolds, that to this letter the following note 
from me was an answer — " It is utterly out of my power, 
I assure you 'pon my honour to comply with your request. 
Your note is retu/rned." The letter itself demonstrates, 
that here was no concern in speculation on my part — 
that the money is asked as a favour and as a loam,, to 
be reimbursed simply and without profit in less than 
a fortnight. My answer shews that even the loan was 

The letter No. XX, from Reynolds, explains the ob- 
ject of my note in these words, " Inclosed are 50 dollars, 
they could not be sent sooner," proving that this sum, 


was also begged for in a very apologetic style as a 
mere loan. 

The letters of the 24th and 30th of August, No. 
XXI and XXII, furnished the key to the affair of 
the 200 dollars mentioned by Clingman in No. IV, 
shewing that this sum was likewise asked by way of 
loan, towards furnishing a small boarding-house which 
Reynolds and his wife were or pretended to be about 
to set up. 

These letters collectively, furnish a complete eluci- 
dation of the nature of my transactions with Reynolds 
They resolve them into an amorous connection with 
his wife, detected, or pretended to be detected by the 
husband, imposing on me the necessity of a pecu- 
niary composition with him, and leaving me after- 
wards under a duress for fear of disclosure, which, 
was the instrument of levying upon me from time to 
time forced loans — They apply directly to this state 
of things, the notes which Reynolds was so careful to 
preserve, and which had been employed to excite sus- 

Four, and the principal of these notes have been not 


only generally but particularly explained — ^I shall 
briefly notice the remaining two. 

"My dear Sir, I expected to have heard the day 
after I had the pleasure of seeing you." This frag- 
ment, if truly a part of a letter to Reynolds, denotes 
nothing more than a disposition to be civil to a man, 
whom, as I said before, it was the interest of my pas- 
sions to conciliate. But I verily believe it was not 
part of a letter to him, because I do not believe that 
I ever addressed him in such a stile — ^It may very 
well have been part of a letter to scime other person, 
procured by means of which I am ignorant, or it may 
have been the beginning of an intended letter, torn 
off, thrown into the chimney in my office, which was a 
common practice, and there or after it had been swept 
out picked up by Reynolds or some coadjutor of his. 
There appears to have been more than one clerk in 
the department some how connected with him. 

The endeavour shewn by the letter No. XVII, to in- 
duce me to render my visits to Mrs. Reynolds more 
public, and the great care with which my little notes 
were preserved, justify the belief that at a period, be- 


fore it was attempted, the idea of implicating me in 
some accusation, with a view to the advantage of the 
accusers, was entertained. Hence the motive to pick 
up and preserve any fragment which might favour the 
idea of friendly or confidential correspondence. 

2dly. "The person Mr. Eeynolds inquired for on 
Friday waited for him all the evening at his house 
from a little after seven. Mr. R. may see him at any 
time to-d^y or to-morrow between the hours of two 
and three." 

Mrs. Reynolds more than once communicated to me, 
that Reynolds would occasionally relapse into discon- 
tent at his situation — would treat her very ill — hint 
at the assassination of me — and more openly threaten, 
by way of revenge, to inform Mrs. Hamilton — all this 
naturally gave some uneasiness. I could not be 
absolutely certain whether it was artifice or reality — 
In the workings of human inconsistency, it was very 
possible, that the same man might be corrupt enough 
to compound for his wife's chastity and yet have sen- 
sibility enough to be restless in the situation and to 
hate the cause of it. 


Eeflections like these induced me for some time to 
use palliatives with, the ill humours which were an- 
nounced to me. Reynolds had called upon me in one 
of these discontented moods real or pretended. I was 
unwilling to provoke him by the appearance of neg- 
lect — and having failed to be at home at the hour he 
had been permitted to call, I wrote her the above 
note to obviate an ill impression. 

The foregoing narrative and the remarks accom- 
panying it have prepared the way for a perusal of the 
letters themselves. The more attention is used in 
this, the more entire will be the satisfaction which 
they will afford. 

It has been seen that an explanation on the subject 
was had cotemporarily that is in December 1792, with 
three members of Congress — F. A. Muhlenberg, J. 
Monroe, and A. Venable. It is proper that the cir- 
cumstances of this transaction should be accurately 

The manner in which Mr. Muhlenberg became en- 
gaged in the affair, is fully set forth in the document 
(No. I. a). It is not equally clear how the two other 


gentlemen came to embark in it. The phraseology, 
in reference to this point, in the close of (No. I.) and 
beginning of (No. II.) is rather equivocal. The gen- 
tlemen, if they please, can explain it. 

But on the morning of the 15th of Decemberj 1792, 
the above mentioned gentlemen presented themselves 
at my office. Mr. Muhlenberg was then speaker. 
He introduced the subject by observing to me, that 
they had discovered a very improper connection between 
me and a Mr. Keynolds : extremely hurt by this mode 
of introduction, I arrested the progress of the dis- 
course by giving way to very strong expressions of 
indignation. The gentlemen explained, telling me in 
substance that I had misapprehended them — that 
they did not take the fact for established — that their 
meaning was to apprise me that unsought by them, 
information had been given them of an improper pe- 
cuniary connection between Mr. Eeynolds and myself; 
that they had thought it their duty to pursue it and 
had become possessed of some documents of a suspi- 
cious complexion — that they had contemplated lay- 
ing the matter before the President, but' before they 


did this they thought it right to apprise me of the 
affair and to afford an opportunity of explanation ; de- 
claring at the same time that their agency in the 
matter was influenced solely by a sense of public duty 
and by no motive of personal ill will. If my mem- 
oiy be correct, the notes from me in a disguised hand 
were now shewn to me which without a moment's 
hesitation I acknowledged to be mine. 

I replied, that the affair was now put upon a difier- 
ent footing — ^that I always stood ready to meet fair 
inquiry with frank communication — that it happened, 
in the present instance, to be in my power by written 
documents to remove all doubts as to the real nature 
of the business, and fully to convince, that nothing 
of the kind imputed to me did in fact exist. The 
same evening at my house was by mutual consent 
appointed for an explanation. 

I immediately after saw Mr. Wolcott, and for the 
first time informed him of the affair and of the inter 
view just had ; and delivering into his hands for peru- 
sal the documents of which I was possessed, I engaged 
him to be present at the intended explanation in the 


In the evening the proposed meeting took place, and 
Mr. Wolcott according to my request attended. The 
information, which had been received to that time, 
from. Clingman, Reynolds and his wife, was communica- 
ted to me and the notes were I think again exhibited. 

I stated in explanation, the circumstances of my af- 
fair with Mrs. Reynolds and the consequences of it and 
in confirmation produced the documents (No. I. b, to 
XXII.) One or more of the gentlemen (Mr. Wolcott's 
certificate No. XXIV, mentions one, Mr. Venable, but 
I think the same may be said of Mr. Muhlenberg) was 
struck with so much conviction, before I had gotten 
through the communication that they delicately urged 
me to discontinue it as unnecessary. I insisted upon 
going through the whole and did so. The result was 
a full and unequivocal acknowledgment on the part 
of the three gentlemen of perfect satisfaction with the 
explanation and expressions of regret at the trouble 
and embarrassment which had been occasioned to me. 
Mr. Muhlenberg and Mr. Venable, in particular mani- 
fested a degree of sensibility on the occasion. Mr. 
Monroe was more cold but intirely explicit. 


One of the gentlemen, I think, expressed a hope that 
I also was satisfied with their conduct in conducting 
the inquiry — I answered, that they knew I had been 
hurt at the opening of the affair — that this excepted, 
I was satisfied with their conduct and considered my- 
self as having been treated with candor or with fair- 
ness and liberality, I do not now pretend to recollect 
the exact terms. I took the next morning a memoran- 
dum of the substance of what was said to me, which 
will be seen by a copy of it transmitted in a letter to 
each of the gentlemen No. XXV. 

I deny absolutely, as alleged by the editor of the 
publication in question, that I intreated a suspension of 
the communication to the President, or that from the 
beginning to the end of the inquiry, I asked any fa- 
vour or indulgence whatever, and that I discovered 
any symptom different from that of a proud conscious- 
ness of innocence. 

Some days after the explanation I wrote to the three 
gentlemen the letter No. XXVI already published. 
That letter evinces the light in which I considered 
myself as standing in their view. 


I received from Mr. Muhlenberg and Mr. Monroe in 
answer the letters No. XXVII and XXVIII. 

Thus the affair remained 'till the pamphlets No. V 
and VI of the history of the U. States for 1796 ap- 
peared; with the exception of some dark whispers, 
which were communicated to me by a friend in Virgi- 
nia, and to which I replied by a statement of what had 

When I saw No. V though it was evidence of a base 
infidelity somewhere, yet firmly believing that noth- 
ing more than a want of due care was chargeable 
upon either of the three gentlemen who had made the 
inquiry, I immediately wrote to each of them a letter 
of which No. XXV is a copy in full confidence that 
their answer would put the whole business at rest. I 
ventured to believe, from the appearances on their 
part at closing our former interview on the subject, 
that their answers would have been both cordial and 

I acknowledge that I was astonished when I came to 
read in the pamphlet No. VI the conclusion of the do- 
cument No. V, containing the equivocal phrase " We 


left him under an impression our suspicions were removed^ ' 
which seemed to imply that this had been a mere 
piece of management, and that the impression given 
me had not been reciprocal. The appearance of du- 
plicity incensed me ; but resolving to proceed with 
caution and moderation, I thought the first proper 
step was to inquire of the gentlemen whether the 
paper was genuine. A letter was written for this 
purpose the copy of which I have mislaid. 

I afterwards received from Messrs. Muhlenberg and 
Venable the letters No. XXIX, XXX, and XXXI. 

Receiving no answer from Mr. Monroe, and hearing 
of his arrival at New- York I called upon him. The 
issue of the interview was that an answer was to be 
given by him, in conjunction with Mr. Muhlenberg 
and Mr. Venable on his return to Philadelphia, he 
thinking that as the agency had been joint it was most 
proper the answer should be joint, and informing me 
that Mr. Venable had told him he would wait his re- 

I came to Philadelphia accordingly to bring the 
affair to a close ; but on my arrival I found Mr. Ven- 
able had left the city for Virginia. 


Mr. Monroe reached Philadelphia according to his 
pointment. And the morning following wrote me 
3 note No. XXXII. While this note was on its way 
my lodgings I was on my way to his — I had a con- 
:sation with him from which we separated with a 
jetition of the assurance in the note — In the course 
the interviews with Mr. Monroe, the equivoque in 
cument No. V, (a) and the paper of January 2d, 
93, under his signature were noticed. 
[ received the day following the letter No. XXXIII, 
which I returned the answer No. XXXIV, — accom- 
aied with the letter No. XXXV, which was succeed- 
by the letters No. XXXVI— XXXVII— XXXVIII 
XXXIX — XL. In due time the sequel of the cor- 
pondence will appear. 

Though extremely disagreeable to me, for very ob- 
lus reasons, I at length determined in order that no 
ud whatever might be left on the affair, to publish 
! documents which had been communicated to 
ssrs. Monroe, Muhlenberg and Venable, all which 
1 be seen in the appendix from No. I, (b) to No. 
lII, inclusively. 


The information from Clingmcm of the 2d January 
1793, to which the signature of Mr. Monroe is annex- 
ed, seems to require an observation or two in addition 
to what is contained in my letter to him No. XXXIX. 

Clingman first suggests that he had been apprized 
of my vindication through Mr. Wolcott a day or two 
after it had been communicated. It did not occur to 
me to inquire of Mr. Wolcott on this point, and he 
being now absent from Philadelphia, I cannot do it at 
this moment. Though I can have no doubt of the 
friendly intention of Mr. Wolcott, if the suggestion 
of Clingman in this particular be taken as true ; yet 
from the condition of secrecy which was annexed to 
my communication, there is the strongest reason to 
conclude it is not true — If not true, there is besides 
but one of two solutions, either that he obtained the 
information from one of the three gentlemen who 
made the inquiry, which would have been a very dis- 
honourable act in the party, or that he conjectured 
what my defence was from what he before knew it 
truly could be — ^For there is the highest probability, 
that through Reynolds and his wife, and as an accom- 


plice, lie was privy to the whole affair. This last 
method of accounting for his knowledge would be 
conclusive on the sincerity and genuineness of the 

But the turn which Clingman gives to the matter 
must necessarily fall to the ground It is, that Mrs. 
Reynolds denied her amorous connection with me, 
and represented the suggestion of it as a mere contri- 
vance between her husband and myself to cover me, al- 
leging that there had been a fabrication of letters 
and receipts to countenance it — The plain answer is 
that Mrs. Reynolds' own letters contradict absolutely 
this artful explanation of hers; if indeed she ever 
made it, of which Clingman's assertion is no evidence 
whatever. These letters are proved by the affidavit 
No. XLI, though it will easily be conceived that the 
proof of them was rendered no easy matter by a lapse 
of near five years : — They shew explicitly the connec- 
tion with her, the discovery of it by her husband and 
the pains she took to prolong it when I evidently wish- 
ed to get rid of it — This cuts up, by the root, the pre- 
tence of a contrivance between the husband and my- 
self to fabricate the evidences of it. 


The variety of shapes which this woman could as- 
sume was endless. In a conversation between her and 
a gentleman whom I am not at liberty publicly to 
name, she made a voluntary confession of her belief 
and even knowledge, that I was innocent of all that had 
been laid to my charge by Reynolds or any other per- 
son of her acquaintance, spoke of me in exalted terms 
of esteem and respect, declared 'in the most solemn 
manner her extreme unhappiness lest I should sup- 
pose her accessory to the trouble which had been 
given me on that account, and expressed her fear that 
the resentment of Mr. Reynolds on a particular score, 
might have urged him to improper lengths of revenge 
— appearing at the same time extremely agitated and 
unhappy. With the gentleman who gives this infor- 
mation, I have never been in any relation personal or 
political that could be supposed to bias him — His 
name would evince that he is an impartial witness. 
And though I am not permitted to make a public use 
of it, I am permitted to refer any gentleman to the 
perusal of his letter in the hands of William Bing- 
ham, Esquire ; who is also so obliging as to permit 



me to deposit with him for similar inspection all the 
original papers which are contained in the appendix 
to this narrative. The letter from the gentleman 
above alluded to has been already shewn to Mr. Mon- 

Let me now, in the last place recur to some com- 
ments, in which the hireling editor of the pamphlets 
No. V and VI has thought fit to indulge himself. 

The first of them is that the soft language of one of 
my notes addressed to a man in the habit of threaten- 
ing me with disgrace, is incompatible with the idea 
of innocence. The threats alluded to must be those 
of being able to hang the Secretary of the Treasury. 
How does it appear that Reynolds was in such a habit? 
No otherwise than by the declaration of Reynolds and 
Clingman. If the assertions of these men are to con- 
demn me, there is an end of the question. There is 
no need by elaborate deductions from parts of their 
affections to endeavour to establish what their asser- 
tions collectively affirm in express terms — If they, are 
worthy of credit I am guilty ; if they are not, all wire- 
drawn inferences from parts of their story are mere 


artifice and nonsense. But no man, not as debauched 
as themselves ■will believe them independent of the 
positive disproof of their story in the written docu- 

As to the affair of threats (except those in Reynolds' 
letters respecting the connection with his wife, which 
it will be perceived were very gentle for the occasion) 
not the least idea of the sort ever reached me 'till after 
the imprisonment of Reynolds. Mr. Wolcott's certifi- 
cate shews my conduct in that case — notwithstanding 
the powerful motives I may be presumed to have had 
to desire the liberation of Reynolds, on account of my 
situation with his wife, I cautioned Mr. Wolcott not to 
facilitate his liberation, till the affair of the threat 
was satisfactorily cleared up. The solemn denial of 
it in Reynolds' letter No. XLII was considered by 
Mr. Wolcott as sufficient. This is a further proof, that 
though in respect to my situation with his wife, I 
was somewhat in Reynolds's power, I was not disposed 
to make any improper concession to the apprehension 
of his resentment. 

As to the threats intimated in his letters, the nature 


the cause will shew that the soft tone of my note 
s not only compatible with them, but a natural se- 
ence of them. 

But it is observed that the dread of the disclosure 
an amorous connection was not a sufficient cause 
my humility, and that I had nothing to lose as to 
■ reputation for chastity; concerning which the 
rid had fixed a previous opinion. 
[ shall not enter into the question what was the pre- 
us opinion entertained of me in this particular — 
: how well founded, for it was indeed such as it is 
)resented to have been. It is sufficient to say that 
ire is a wide difference between vague rumours and 
ipicions and the evidence of a positive fact — no 
,n not indelicately unprincipled, with the state of 
,nners in this country, would be willing to have a 
ijugal infidelity fixed upon him with positive cer- 
nty — He would know that it would justly injure 
n with a considerable and respectable portion of the 
:iety — and especially no man, tender of the happi- 
is of an excellent wife could without extreme pain 
ik forward to the affliction which she might endure 


from tlie disclosure, especially a public disdoswre, of 
tlie fact. Those best acquainted with the interior of 
my domestic life will best appreciate the force of such 
a consideration upon me. 

The truth was, that in both relations and especially 
the last, I dreaded extremely a disclosure — and was 
willing to make large sacrifices to avoid it. It is true, 
that from the acquiescence of Reynolds, I had strong 
ties upon his secrecy, but how could I rely upon any 
tie upon so base a character. How could I know, but 
that from moment to moment he might, at the ex- 
pence of his own disgrace, become the mercenary of 
a party, with whom to blast my character in any way 
is a favourite object! 

Strong inferences are attempted to be drawn from 
the release of Clingman and Reynolds with the con- 
sent of the Treasury — from the want of communica- 
tiveness of Reynolds while in prison — ^from the sub- 
sequent disappearance of Reynolds and his wife, and 
from their not having been produced by me in order 
to be confronted at the time of the explanation. 

As to the first, it was emphatically the transaction 


of Mr. Wolcott the then Comptroller of the Treasury, 
and was bottomed upon a very adequate motive — and 
one as appears from the document No. I, (a) early con- 
templated in this light by that officer. It was cer- 
tainly of more consequence to the public to detect 
and expel from the bosom of the Treasury Depart- 
ment an unfaithful Clerk to prevent future and exten- 
sive mischief, than to disgrace and punish two worth- 
less individuals. Besides that a powerful influence 
foreign to me was exerted to procure indulgence to 
them — that of Mr. Muhlenberg and Col. Burr — that 
of Col. Wadsworth, which though insidiously placed 
to my account was to the best of my recollection 
utterly unknown to me at the time, and according to 
the confession of Mrs. Reynolds herself, was put in 
motion by her entreaty. Candid men will derive 
strong evidence of my innocence and delicacy, from 
the reflection, that under circumstances so peculiar, 
the culprits were compelled to give a real and sub- 
stantial equivalent for the relief which they obtained 
from a department, over which I presided. 

The backwardness of Reynolds to enter into detail, 


while in jail, was an argument of nothing but that 
conscious of his inability to communicate any par- 
ticulars which could be supported, he found it more 
convenient to deal in generals, and to keep up appear- 
ances by giving promises for the future. 

As to the disappearance of the parties after the lib- 
eration, how am I answerable for it ? Is it not pre- 
sumable, that the instance discovered at the Treasury 
was not the only offence of the kind of which they 
were guilty ? After one detection, is it not very pro- 
bable that Reynolds fled to avoid detection in other 
cases ? But exclusive of this, it is known and might 
easily be proved that Reynolds was considerably in 
debt ! What more natural for him than to fly from his 
creditors after having been once exposed by confine- 
ment for such a crime? Moreover, atrocious as his 
conduct had been towards me, was it not natural for 
him to fear that my resentment might be excited at 
the discovery of it, and that it might have been deem- 
ed a sufficient reason for retracting the indulgence, 
which was shewn by withdrawing the prosecution and 
for recommencing it ? 


One or all of these considerations will explain the 
disappearance of Reynolds without imputing it to me 
as a method of getting rid of a dangerous witness. 

That disappearance rendered it impracticable, if it 
had been desired to bring him forward to be confront- 
ed. As to Clingman it was not pretended that he knew 
any thing of what was charged upon me, otherwise 
than by the notes which he produced, and the infor- 
mation of Reynolds and his wife. As to Mrs. Rey- 
nolds, she in fact appears by Clingman's last story to 
have remained, and to have been accessible through 
him, by the gentleman who had undertaken the inqui- 
ry. If they supposed it necessary to the elucidation 
of the affair, why did not they bring her forward ? 
There can be no doubt of the sufficiency of Clingman's 
influence, for this purpose, when it is understood that 
Mrs. Reynolds and he afterwards lived together as man 
and wife. But to what purpose the confronting? What 
would it have availed to the elucidation of truth, if 
Reynolds and his wife had impudently made allega- 
tions which I denied. Relative character and the 
written documents must still determine. These could 


decide without it, and they were relied upon. But 
could it be expected, that I should so debase myself 
as to think it necessary to my vindication to be con- 
fronted with a person such as Reynolds? Could I 
have borne to suffer my veracity to be exposed to the 
humiliating competition ? 

For what ? — why, it is said, to tear up the last twig 
of jealousy — but when I knew that I possessed written 
documents which were decisive, how could I foresee 
that any twig of jealousy would remain? When the 
proofs I did produce to the gentlemen were admitted 
by them to be completely satisfactory, and by some of 
them to be more than sufficient, how could I dream of 
the expediency of producing more — how could I imag- 
ine that every twig of jealousy was not plucked up ? 

If after the recent confessions of the gentlemen 
themselves, it could be useful to fortify the proof of 
the full conviction my explanation had wrought, I 
might appeal to the total silence concerning this 
charge, when at a subsequent period, in the year 1793, 
there was such an active legislative persecution of me. 
It might not even perhaps be difficult to establish, 



that it came under the eye of Mr. Giles, and that he 
discarded it as the plain case of a private amour un- 
connected with any thing that was the proper subject 
of a public attack. 

Thus has my desire to destroy this slander, com- 
pletely, led me to a more copious and particular ex- 
amination of it, than I am sure was necessary. The 
bare perusal of the letters from Eeynolds and his wife 
is suflScient to convince my greatest enemy that there 
is nothing worse in the affair than an irregular and 
indelicate amour. For this, I bow to the just censure 
which it merits. I have paid pretty severely for the 
folly and can never recollect it without disgust and 
self condemnation — It might seem affectation to say 

To unfold more clearly the malicious intent, by 
which the present revival of the aifair must have been 
influenced — I shall annex an affidavit of Mr. Webster 
tending to confirm my declaration of the utter false- 
hood of the assertion, that a menace of publishing the 
papers which have been published had arrested the 
progress of an attempt to hold me up as a candidate 


for tlie oiSce of President. Does this editor imagine 
that lie will escape the just odium which awaits him 
by the miserable subterfuge of saying that he had the 
information from a respectable citizen of New- York ? 
Till he names the author the inevitable inference 
must be that he has fabricated the tale. 

Philadelphia, July, 1797. 


No. I. (a) 
Philadelphia, ISth of December, 1792. 
Jacob Clingman being a clerk in my employment, 
and becoming involved in a prosecution commenced 
against James Reynolds, by the comptroller of the 
treasury, on a charge or information exhibited before 
Hillary Baker, Esq. one of the aldermen of this city, 
for subornation of perjury, whereby they had obtained 
money from the treasury of the United States, he 
(Clingman) applied to me for my aid and friendship 
on behalf of himself and Reynolds, to get them re- 
leased or discharged from the prosecution. I promis- 
ed, so far as respected Clingman, but not being par- 
ticularly acquainted with Reynolds, in a great meas- 
ure declined, so far as respected him. In company 
with Col. Burr, I waited on Col. Hamilton, for the pur- 
pose, and particularly recommended Clingman, who 
had hitherto sustained a good character. Col. Hamil- 


ton signified a wish to do all that was consistent. 
Shortly after I waited on the comptroller, for the 
same purpose, who seemed to have some difficulties 
on the subject; and from some information I had, in 
the mean time, received, I could not undertake to re- 
commend Reynolds ; as I verily believed him to be a 
rascal ; which words I made use of to the comptroller. 
On a second interview with the comptroller, on the 
same subject, the latter urged the propriety of Cling- 
man's delivering up a certain list of money due to 
individuals, which Eeynolds and Clingman were said 
to have in their possession, and of his informing him 
of whom, or thro' whom, the same was obtained from 
the public ofiices: on doing which, Clingman's re- 
quest might, perhaps, be granted with greater pro- 
priety. This, Clingman, I am informed, complied 
with, and also refunded the money or certificates, 
which they had improperly obtained from the treas- 
ury. After which, I understand the action against 
both was withdrawn, and Reynolds discharged from 
imprisonment, without any further interference of 
mine whatsoever. During the time this business was 


thus depending, and whicli lasted upwards of three 
weeks, Clingman, unasked, frequently dropped hints 
to me, that Reynolds had it in his power, very mate- 
rially to injure the secretary of the treasury, and that 
Reynolds knew several very improper transactions of 
his. I paid little or no attention to those hints, but 
when they were frequently repeated, and it was even 
added that Reynolds said, he had it in his power to 
hang the secretary of the treasury, that he was deeply 
concerned in speculation, that he had frequently ad- 
vanced money to him (Reynolds) and other insinua- 
tions of an improper nature, it created considerable 
uneasiness on my mind, and I conceived it my duty to 
consult with some friends on the subject. — ^Mr. Mon- 
roe and Mr. Venable were informed of it yesterday 

Signed by Mr. Muhlenburg. 

No. II. (a) 
Philadelphia, IZth December, 1792. 
Being informed yesterday in the morning, that a 
person of the name of Reynolds, from Virginia, Rich- 


mond, was confined in the jail, upon some criminal 
prosecution, relative to certificates, and that he had 
intimated, he could give some intelligence of specu- 
lations by Mr. Hamilton, which should be known, 
we immediately called on him, as well to be informed 
of the situation of the man, as of those other mat- 
ters, in which the public might be interested. We 
found it was not the person, we had been taught to 
believe, but a man of that name from New- York, and 
who had, for some time past resided in this city. 
Being there, however, we questioned him respecting 
the other particular: he informed us, that he could 
give information of the misconduct, in that respect, 
of a person high in office, but must decline it for the 
present, and until relieved, which was promised him, 
that evening : that at ten to-day, he would give us 
a detail of whatever he knew on the subject. He 
affirmed, he had a person in high office, in his power, 
and has had, a long time past : That he had written 
to him in terms so abusive, that no person should 
have submitted to it, but that he dared not to resent 
it. That Mr. Wolcott was in the same department 


and, he supposed, under his influence or controul. 
And, in fact, expressed himself in such a manner, as 
to leave no doubt he meant Mr. Hamilton. That he 
expected to he relieved by Mr. Wolcott, at the in- 
stance of that person, although he believed that Mr. 
Wolcott, in instituting the prosecution, had no im- 
proper design. That he was satisfied the prosecution 
was set on foot, only to keep him low, and oppress 
him, and ultimately drive him away, in order to pre- 
vent his using the power he had over him ; — that he 
had had, since his residence here, for eighteen months, 
many private meetings with that person, who had 
often promised to put him into employment, but had 
disappointed him : — That on hearing the prosecution 
was commenced against him, he applied to this person 
for counsel, who advised him to keep out of the way, 
for a few days : — That a merchant came to him, and 
offered, as a volunteer, to be his bail, who, he suspects, 
had been instigated by this person, and after being 
decoyed to the place, the merchant wished to carry 
him, he refused being his bail, unless he would de- 
posit a sum of money to some considerable amount, 




which he could not do, and was, in consequence, com- 
mitted to prison : — As well as we remember, he gave, 
as a reason why he could not communicate to us, what 
he knew of the facts alluded to, that he was appre- 
hensive, it might prevent his discharge, but that he 
would certainly communicate the whole to us, at ten 
this morning ; at which time, we were informed, he 
had absconded, or concealed himself. 

Signed by James Monroe and 
Abraham Venable. 

No. III. (a) 
Philadelphia, ISth December, 1792. 
Being desirous, on account of their equivocal com- 
plection, to examine into the suggestions which had 
been made us respecting the motive for the confine- 
ment and proposed enlargement of James Keynolds, 
from the jail of this city, and inclined to suspect, for 
the same reason, that, unless it were immediately 
done, the opportunity would be lost, as we were taught 
to suspect he would leave the place, immediately after 
his discharge, we called at his house last night for 


that purpose ; we found Mrs. Reynolds alone. It was 
with difficulty, we obtained from her, any information 
on the subject, but at length she communicated to us 
the following particulars : 

That since Col. Hamilton was secretary of the treas- 
ury, and at his request, she had burned a consider- 
able number of letters from him to her husband, and 
in the absence of the latter, touching business between 
them, to prevent their being made public ; — she also 
mentioned that Mr. Clingman had several anonymous 
notes addressed to her husband, which, she believed, 
were from Mr. Hamilton (which we have) with an en- 
dorsement "from sectetary Hamilton, Esq." in Mr. 
Reynolds's hand writing : — That Mr. Hamilton offered 
her his assistance to go to her friends, which he 
advised: — That he also advised that her husband 
should leave the parts, not to be seen here again, and 
in which case, he would give something clever. That 
she was satisfied this wish for his departure did not 
proceed from friendship to him, but upon account of 
his threat, that he could tell something, that would 
make some of the heads of departments tremble. — 


That Mr, Wadsworth had been active in her hehalf, 
first at her request; but, in her opinion, with the 
knowledge and communication of Mr. Hamilton, whose 
friend he professed to be ; that he had been at her 
house yesterday and mentioned to her, that two gen- 
tlemen of Congress had been at the jail to confer with 
her husband ; enquired if she knew what they went 
for; observed, he knew, Mr. Hamilton had enemies, 
who would try to prove some speculations on him, but, 
when enquired into, he would be found immaculate : 
— to which, she replied, she rather doubted it. We 
saw in her possession two notes ; one in the name of 
Alexander Hamilton, of the sixth of December, and 
the other signed " S. W." purporting to have been 
written yesterday, both expressing a desire to relieve 

She denied any recent communication with Mr. 
Hamilton, or that she had received any money from 
him lately. 

Signed James Monroe and 
F. A. Muhlenberg. 


No. IV. (a) 
Philadelphia, 13<A December 1792. 
Jacob Clingman has been engaged in some nego- 
ciations with Mr. Keynolds, the person, who has lately- 
been discharged from a prosecution instituted against 
him by the comptroller of the treasury: — That his 
acquaintance commenced in September 1791 : — That 
a mutual confidence and intimacy existed between 
them : — That in January or February last, he saw Col. 
Hamilton, at the house of Keynolds ; — immediately 
on his going into the house Col. Hamilton left it ; — 
That in a few days after, he (Clingman) was at Mr. Rey- 
nold's house, with Mrs. Reynolds, her husband being 
then out, some person knocked at the door ; he arose 
and opened it, and saw that it was Col. Hamilton: 
Mrs. Reynolds went to the door ; he delivered a paper 
to her, and that he was ordered to give Mr. Reynolds 
that : but asked Mrs. Reynolds, who could order the 
secretary of the treasury of the United States to give 
that ; she replied, that she supposed he did not want to 
be known : — This happened in the night. He asked 
her how long Mr. Reynolds had been acquainted with 


Col. Hamilton ; she replied some months ; — That Col. 
Hamilton had assisted her husband; that some few 
days before that time, he had received upwards of 
eleven hundred dollars of Col. Hamilton. Some time 
after this, Clingman was at the house of Reynolds, 
and saw Col. Hamilton come in, he retired and left him 
there. A little after Duer's failure, Reynolds told 
Clingman in confidence, that if Duer had held up 
three days longer, he should have made fifteen hun- 
dred pounds, by the assistance of Col. Hamilton: that 
Col. Hamilton had informed him that he was connect- 
ed with Duer. Mr. Reynolds also said, that Col. Ham- 
ilton had made thirty thousand dollars by specula- 
tion; that Col. Hamilton had supplied him with 
money to speculate. That, about June last, Reynolds 
told Clingman, that he had applied to Col. Hamilton, 
for money to subscribe to the turnpike road at Lan- 
caster, and had received a note from him, in these 
words, " It is utterly out of my power, I assure you, 
" upon my honor, to comply with your request. Your 
" note is returned." Which original note, accompany- 
ing this, has been in Clingman's possession ever since. 


Mr. Keynolds has once or twice mentioned to Cling- 
man, that he had it in his power to hang Col. Hamil- 
ton ; that if he wanted money he was obliged to let 
him have it: — That he (Clingman) has occasionally 
lent money to Reynolds, who always told him, that he 
could always get it from Col. Hamilton, to repay it. — 
That on one occasion Clingman lent him two hundred 
dollars, that Reynolds promised to pay him thro' the 
means of Col. Hamilton, that he went with him, saw 
him go into Col. Hamilton's ; — that after he came out, 
he paid him one hundred dolllars, which, he said, was 
part of the sum he had got ; and paid the balance in 
a few days ; the latter sum paid was said to have been 
from Col. Hamilton, after his return from Jersey, hav- 
ing made a visit to the manufacturing society there. 
After a warrant was issued against Reynolds, upon a 
late prosecution, which was instituted against him, 
Clingman seeing Reynolds, asked him why he did not 
apply to his friend Col. Hamilton, he said he would go 
immediately, and went accordingly; — he said after- 
wards, that Col. Hamilton advised him to keep out of 
the way, a few days, and the matter would be settled. 


That after this time, Henry Seckel went to Eeynolds, 
and offered to be his bail, if he would go with him 
to Mr. Baker's office, where he had left the officer, who 
had the warrant in writing; — that he prevailed on 
Reynolds to go with him ; — ^that after Reynolds was 
taken into custody, Seckel refused to become his bail, 
unless he would deposit, in his possession, property to 
the value of four hundred pounds ; upon which, Rey- 
nolds wrote to Col. Hamilton, and Mr. Seckel carried 
the note ; — after two or three times going, he saw Col. 
Hamilton ; Col. Hamilton said, he knew Reynolds and 
his father ; — that his father was a good whig in the 
late war ; that was all he could say : That it was not 
in his power to assist him ; in consequence of which, 
Seckel refused to be his bail, and Reynolds was im- 
prisoned. Mr. Reynolds also applied to a Mr. Francis, 
who is one of the clerks in the treasury department : 
he said he could not do anything, without the consent 
of Mr. Hamilton ; that he would apply to him. He 
applied to Mr. Hamilton ; who told him, that it would 
not be prudent ; if he did, he must leave the depart- 



After Reynolds was confined, Clingman asked Mrs. 
Reynolds, wliy she did not apply to Col. Hamilton, to 
dismiss him, as the money was ready to be refunded, 
that had been received; — she replied, that she had 
applied to him, and he had sent her to Mr. Wolcott, 
but directed her not to let Mr. Wolcott know, that he 
had sent her there ; notwithstanding this injunction> 
she did let Mr. Wolcott know, by whom she had been 
sent ; who appeared tobe surprised at the inforination, 
but said, he would do what he could for her, and 
would consult Col. Hamilton on the occasion. Col. 
Hamilton advised her to get some person of respect- 
ability to intercede for her husband, and mentioned 
Mr. Muhlenburg. 

Reynolds continued to be kept in custody, for some 
time ; during which time, Clingman had conversation 
with Mr. Wolcott, who said, if he would give up a list 
of claims which he had, he should be released : — Af- 
ter this, Mrs. Reynolds informed Clingman, that Col. 
Hamilton had told her, that Clingman should write a 
letter to Mr. Wolcott, and a duplicate of the same to 
himself, promising to give up the list, and refund the 



money, which had been obtained on a certificate, which 
had been said to have been improperly obtained. 

Clingman asked Mrs. Keynolds for the letters, that 
her husband had received from Col. Hamilton, from 
time to time, as he might probably use them to obtain 
her husband's liberty; — she replied, that Col. Hamil- 
ton had requested her to burn all the letters, that 
were in his hand writing, or that had his name to 
them : which she had done ; he pressed her to ex- 
amine again, as she might not have destroyed the 
whole, and they would be useful ; — She examined and 
found notes, which are herewith submitted, and 

which, she said, were notes from Col. Hamilton. 

Mrs. Reynolds told Clingman, that having heard, 
that her husband's father was, in the late war, a 
commissary under the direction of Col. Wadsworth, 
waited on him, to get him to intercede for her hus- 
band's discharge: — he told her, he would give her 
his assistance, and said, now you have made me your 
friend, you must apply to no person else. — That on 
Sunday evening Clingman went to the house of Rey- 
nolds, and found Col. Wadsworth there : he was in- 


troduced to Col. Wadsworth by Mrs. Reynolds: Col 
Wadswortli told him, lie had seen Mr. Wolcott ; — that 
Mr. Wolcott would do any thing for him (Clingman) 
and Reynolds's family, that he could ; — that he had 
called on Col. Hamilton but had not seen him ; — but 
he might tell Mr. Muhlenburg, that a friend of his 
(Clingman's) had told him, that Ccl. Wadsworth was 
a countryman and schoolmate of Mr. IngersoU, and 
that Col. Wadsworth was also intimate with the 
governor, and that the governor would do almost any 
thing to oblige him; — that his name must not be 
mentioned to Mr. Muhlenburg, as telling him this ; 
but that if Mr. Muhlenburg could be brought to 
speak to him first, on the subject, he would then do 
any thing in his power for them ; and told him not 
to speak to him, if he should meet him in the street, 
and said, if his name was mentioned, that he would 
do nothing: — That on Wednesday, Clingman saw Col. 
Wadsworth at Reynolds's house ; he did not find her 
at home, but left a note ; but on going out he met 
her, and said he had seen every body, and done every 


Mrs. Reynolds told Clingman, that she had re- 
ceived money of Col. Hamilton, since her husband's 
confinement, enclosed in a note, which note she had 

After Reynolds was discharged, which was eight 
or nine o'clock on Wednesday evening : — about twelve 
o'clock at night, Mr. Reynolds sent a letter to Col. 
Hamilton by a girl ; which letter Clingman saw de- 
livered to the girl ; — ^Reynolds followed the girl, and 
Clingman followed him ; — he saw the girl go into Col. 
Hamilton's house; — Clingman then joined Reynolds, 
and they walked back and forward in the street, 
until the girl returned, and informed Reynolds, that 
he need not go out of town that night, but call on 
him, early in the morning. In the morning, between 
seven and eight o'clock, he saw Reynolds go to Col. 
Hamilton's house and go in: he has not seen him 
since, and supposes he has gone out of the state. 

Mr. Clingman further adds, that some time ago, 
he was informed by Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds, that he 
had books containing the amount of the cash due 
to the Virginia line, at his own house at New- York, 


with liberty to copy, and was obtained thro' Mr. 

The above contains the truth to the best of my 
knowledge and recollection, and to which I am ready 
to make oath. 

Given under my hand, this 13th 

of December, 1792. 
Signed by Jacob Clingman. 

No. I. 

Col. Hamilton 
Dear Sir 

I have not tim to tell you the cause of my present 
troubles only that Mr. has rote you this morning and 
I know not wether you have got the letter or not and 
he has swore that If you do not answer It or If he dose 
not se or hear from you to day he will write Mrs. Ha- 
milton he has just Gone oute and I am a Lone I think 
you had better come here one moment that you May 
know the Cause then you will the better know how to 
act Oh my God I feel more for you than myself and 
wish I had never been born to give you so much un- 


happiness do not write to him not no a Line but come 
herd soon do not send or leave any thing in his power 


No. II. 
Philadelphia, 15th December, 1791. 
I am very sorry to find OTit that I have been so Cru- 
elly treated by a person that I took to be my best 
friend instead of that my greatest Enimy. You have 
deprived me of every thing thats near and dear to me, 
I discovred whenever I Came into the house, after be- 
ing out I found Mrs. Reynolds weeping I ask'd her 
the Cause of being so unhappy. She always told me 
that she had bin Reding, and she could not help Cry- 
ing when she Red any thing that was Afecting. but 
seing her Repeatedly in that Setevation gave me some 
suspicion to think that was not the Cause, as fortain 
would have it. before matters was carred to two great 
a length. I discovered a letter directed to you which I 
copied of and put it in the place where I found it 
without being discovered by Her. and then the even- 


ing after. I was Curious anough to watch her. and 
see give a leter to a Black man in Market Street, 
which I followed him to your door, after that I Re- 
turned home some time in the evening, and I broach, 
ed the matter to her and Red the Copy to her which 
she fell upon her knees and asked forgiveness and dis- 
covered every thing to me Respecting the matter and 
ses that she was unhappy, and not knowing what to 
do without some assistance. She Called on you for the 
lone of some money, which you toald her you would 
call on her the Next Evening, which accordingly you 
did. and there Sir you took the advantage a poor Bro- 
ken harted woman, instead of being a Friend, you 
have acted the part of the most Cruelist man in ex- 
istance. you have made a whole family miserable. 
She ses there is no other man that she Care for in 
this world, now Sir you have bin the Cause of Cool- 
ing her aii'ections for me. She was a woman. I should 
as soon sespect an angiel from heven. and one where 
all my happiness was depending, and I would Sacre- 
fise almost my life to make her Happy, but now I am 
determined to have satisfation. it shant be onely one 


mamily thats miserable, for I am Robbed of all hap- 
piness in this world I am determined to leve her. and 
take my daughter with me that Shant see her poor 
mother Lot. now Sir if I Cant see you at your house 
call and see me. for there is no person that Knowes 
any thing as yet. And I am tiremd to see you, by 
some means or other, for you have made me an un- 
happy man for eve. put it to your own case and Re- 
flect one moment, that you should know shush a thing 
of your wife, would not you have satisfacton yes. and 
so will I before one day passes me more. 
I am yours 

James Reynolds. 
Mr. Alexander Hamilton. 

No. III. 
Saturday Evening 17th December, 1791. 
I now have taken till tuesday morning to Consider 
on What Steps will be Best for me to take. I should 
not have let the matter Rested till then, if it had not 
been for the news of the death of my Sister, which it 


Semes as if all my troubles are Comming on me in 
one moment, if it had been any other person except 
yourself, that treated me as you have done. I should 
not have taken the trouble to Call on them more than 
once, but your being in the Station of life you are. in- 
duses me to way every Surcomcance well Respecting 
the matter it will be impossible for me ever to think 
of liveing or Reconsiling myself to Stay with a woman 
that I no has plased her affections on you. and you 
know if you Reflect one moment, that you have been 
the sole Cause of it. I have all Reason in the world 
to believe its true. I am that man that will always 
have Satisfaction by some means or other when treat- 
ed ill. Especially when I am treated in the manner, 
as you have done, you may rest ashured that the mat- 
ter as yet is Not known. If think proper to Call at the 
sign of the George tuesday morning at 8 oclock I will 
be there, for your house or office is no place to con- 
verse about these matters, if that is not agreeable to 
you. let me know what place I shall see you at. at that 
time, for I am determined to know what corse I shall 
take, more miserable I cant be than I am at present. 



let the consequence be as it will, for when I come 
into the house. I find the wife always weeping and 
praying that I wont leve her. And its all on your ac- 
count, for if you had not seeked for her Ruin it would 
not have happined. Could you not have Relieved the 
disstressed without, transgressing in the mannor you 
have done. Sertainly you did not show the man of 
honnor. in taking the advantage of the afflicted, when 
Calling on you as a father and protector in the time 
of disstress. put that home to yourself and tell me 
what you would do in such a Case, or what amend 
Could be made to you or wether it would be possi- 
ble to make any. you will answer no. it be impossible 
after being Robbed of all your happiness and your 
whole family made misseable. I know you are a man 
thats not void of feeling. I am not a man that wishes 
to do any thing Rashly, or plunge myself into Ruin, 
now if you think proper to se me at the place I have 
mentioned, or any other, please to let me no before, 
for I wish to be by ourselfs where we Can converse to- 
gether, for if you do not Call on me or let me no 


where I Can see. you at that time. I shant call on yon 
after this. 

I am yours 

James Reynolds 
Mr, Alexander Hamilton. ' 

No. IV. 
Philadelphia, l^th December, 1791. 
When we were last togeather you then would wis 
to know my Determination what I would do and. you 
exspess a wish to do any thing that was in your power 
to Serve me, its true its in your power to do a great 
deal for me, but its out of your power to do any thing 
that will Restore to me my Happiness again for if you 
should give me all you possess would not do it. god 
knowes I love the woman and wish every blessing may 
attend her, you have bin the Cause of Winning her 
love, and I Dont think I Can be Reconciled to live 
with Her, when I know I hant her love, now Sir I 
have Considered on the matter Serously. I have This 
preposial to make to you. give me the Sum Of thou- 


sand dollars and I will leve the town and take my 
daughter with me and go where my Friend Shant here 
from me and leve her to Yourself to do for her as you 
thing proper. I hope you wont think my request is in 
a view of making Me Satisfaction for the injury done 
me. for there is nothing that you Can do will Compen- 
sate for it. your answer I shall expect This evening or 
in the morning early, as I am Determined to wate no 
longer till. I know my lot 


James Reynolds 
Mr. Alexr. Hamilton 

No. V. 
Received December 22 of Alexander Hamilton six 
hundred dollars on account of a sum of one thousand 
dollars due to me. 

James Reynolds 

No. VI. 
Received Philadelphia January 3. 1792 of Alex- 
ander Hamilton four hundred dollars in full of all 

James Reynolds 


No. VII. 

Philadelphia 17th, January 1792. 

I Suppose you ■will be surprised in my writing to 

you Repeatedly as I do. but dont be Alarmed for its 

Mrs. R. wisb to See you. and for My own happiness 

and hers. I have not the Least Objections to your 

Calling, as a friend to Boath of us. and must rely in- 

tirely on your and her honnor. when I conversed with 

you last. I told you it would be disagreeable to me for 

you to Call, but Sence, I am pritty well Convinsed, 

She would onely wish to See you as a friend, and sence 

I am Reconciled to live with her, I would wish to do 

every thing for her happiness and my own, and Time 

may ware of every thing. So dont fail in Calling as 

Soon as you Can make it Conveanant. and I Rely on 

your befriending me if there should anything Offer 

that would be to my advantage, as you Express a wish 

to befriend me. So I am 

yours to Serve 

James Reynolds 

Mr. Alexr. Hamilton. 


No. VIII. 
Monday Night, Eight C, L 
I need not acquaint that I had Ben Sick all moast 
Ever sence I saw you as I am sure you allready no It 
Nor would I solicit a favor wich Is so hard to obtain 
were It not for the Last time Yes Sir Rest assurred I 
will never ask you to Call on me again I have kept my 
Bed those tow dayes and now rise from My pilliow 
wich your Neglect has filled with the shorpest thorns 
I no Longer doubt what I have Dreaded to no but stop I 
do not wish to se you to to say any thing about my Late 
disappointment No I only do it to Ease a heart wich 
is ready Burst with Greef I can neither Eat or sleep I 
have Been on the point of doing the moast horrid acts 
at I shudder to think where I might been what will 
Become of me. In vain I try to Call reason to aid me 
but alas ther Is no Comfort for me I feel as If I should 
not Contennue long and all the wish I have Is to se 
you once more that I may my doubts Cleared up for 
God sake be not so voed of all humannity as to deni 
me this Last request but if you will not Call some 


time this night I no its late but any tim between this 
and twelve A Clock I shall be up Let me Intreat you 
If you wont Come to send me a Line oh my head I 
can rite no more do something to Ease My heart or 
Els I no not what I shall do for so I cannot live Com- 
mit this to the care of my maid be not offended I beg. 

No. IX. 

Wednesday Morning ten of Clock. 

Dear Sir 

I have kept my bed those tow days past but find my 

self mutch better at presant though yet full distreesed 

and shall till I se you fretting was the Cause of my 

Illness I thought you had been told to stay away from 

our house and yesterday with tears I my Eyes I beged 

Mr. once more to permit your visits and he told upon 

his honnour that he had not said anything to you 

and that It was your own fault believe me I scarce 

knew how to beleeve my senses and if my seturation 

was insuportable before I heard this It was now more 

so fear prevents my saing more only that I shal be 

misarable till I se you and if my dear freend has the 


Least Esteeme for the unhappy Maria whos greateest 
fault Is Loveing him he will come as soon as he shall 
get this and till that time My breast will be the seate 
of pain and woe. 


Col. Hamilton 

P. S. If you cannot come this Evening to stay just 
come only for one moment as I shal be Lone Mr. is 
going to sup with a friend from New- York. 

No. X. 

Monday Morning. 
the Girl tells me that you said If I wanted any thing 
that I should write this morning alas my friend want 
what what can ask for but peace wich you alone can 
restore to my tortured bosom and do My dear Col ha- 
milton on my kneese Let me Intreatee you to reade 
my Letter and Comply with my request tell the bear- 
er of this or give her a line you need not be the least 
affraid let me not die with fear have pity on me my 
freend for I deserve it I would not solicit this favor 
but I am sure It cannot injure you and will be all the 



happiness I Ever Expect to have But oh I am disstress- 
ed more than I can tell My heart Is ready to burst 
and my tears wich once could flow with Ease are now 
denied me Could I only weep I would thank heaven 
and bless the hand that 

No. XI. 
Sunday Evening 2ith March. 1792. 
On my entering the Room the last evening. I found 
Mrs Reynolds in a setuvation little diflerent from dis- 
traction and for some time could not prevail on her to 
tell me the Cause, at last She informed me that you 
had been here likewise of a letter she had wrote you 
in a fright, which she need not have don as I Never 
intended doing any thing I told her but did it to hum- 
ble Her. for the imprudent language she made yuse of 
to me. and You may Rest ashured sir, that I have not 
a wish to do any thing that may give you or your 
family a moments pain I know not what you may 
think of me. but suppose yourself for a moment in my 
setuvation, that your wife whom you tenderly love. 



should plase her affections on another object and hear 
her say. that all her happiness depends intirely on 
that object, what would you do in such a Case, would 
you have acted as I have don. I have Consented to 
things which I thought I never could have don. hut 
I have dun it to make life tolerable, and for the sake 
of a person whose happiness is dearer to me than my 
own. I have another afliction added to the Rest that 
IS almost insupportable. I find when ever you have 
been with her. she is Cheerful and kind, but when you 
have not in some time she is Quite to Reverse, and 
wishes to be alone by her self, but when I tell her of 
it. all her answer is she Cant help it. and hopes I will 
forgive her. shurely you Cannot wonder if I should 
act ever so imprudent, though at present if I could 
take all her Grief upon myself I would do it with 
pleashure. the excess of which alarm me untill now. 
I have had no idea of. I have spent this day at her bed 
side in trying to give her the Consolation which I my- 
self stand in need of. she also tell me, you wish to 
see me tomorrow evening and then I shall Convince 
you. that I would not wish to trifle with you And 


would much Rather add to the happiness of all than 
to disstress any 

am sir Your 

James Reynolds 
Mr. Alexr. Hamilton 

No. XII. 

Read this all 

Sunday Night, one O Clock 
My dear friend 

In a state of mind which know language can paint 
I take up the pen but alas I know not what I write or 
how to give you an idea of the anguish wich at this 
moment rends my heart yes my friend I am doomed 
to drink the hitter cup of affliction Pure and unmixed 
but why should I repine why pour forth my wretched 
soul in fruitless complainings for you have said It you 
have commanded and I must submit heaven tow In- 
exorable heaven Is deaf to my anguish and has marked 
me out for the child of sorrow oh my dear friend we- 
ther shall I fly for consolation oh all all consolation 
is shut against me there is not the least gleme of hope 


but oil merciful God forgive me and you my friend 
Comply with this Last Bequest Let me once more se 
you and unbosom Myself to you perhaps I shal be 
happier after It I have mutch to tell wich I dare 
not write And which you ought to know oh my dear 
Sir give me your advice for once In an Affair on wich 
depends my Existence Itself Think not my friend 
that I say this to make you come and se me and that 
I have nothing to tell you for heaven by which I de- 
clare knows that I have woes to relate wich I never 
Expected to have known accept by the name Come 
therefore to-morrow sometime or Els in the Evening 
do I beg you to come gracious God had I the world I 
would lay It at your feet If I could only se you oh I 
must or I shall lose my senses and It is not because I 
think to prevail on you to visit me again no my dear 
Col Hamilton I do not think of It but will when I se 
you do just as you tell me so doant be offended with 
me for pleadeing so hard to se you If you do not think 
it proper to come here Let me know by a line where 
I shal se you and what hour you need not put your 
name to It or mine Either Just direct Mr or Els leva 


It blank adieu my Ever dear Col hamilton you may 
form to yourself an Idea of my distress for I Cant 
desscribe It to you Pray for me and be kind to me Let 
me se you death now would be welcome Give 

No. XIII. 
Philadelphia 8d, April, 1792. 
I hope you will pardon me in taking the liberty I do 
In troubling you so offen. it hurts me to let you Know 
my Setivation. I should take it as a protickeler if 
you would Oblige me with the lone of about thirty 
Dollars I am in hopes in a fue days I shall be In a more 
better Setivation. and then I shall Be able to make you 
ample Satisfaction for your Favours shewn me. I want 
it for some little Necssaries of life for my family, sir 
you granting the above favour this morning will very 
much Oblige your most Obedient and humble Servant 

James Reynolds 
Alex. Hamilton Esqr. 

N B the inclose is a Receipt for Ninety dollars, that 
is if you Can Oblige me with the thirty, thats Includ - 
ing Boath Sums 



Received Philadelphia 3d. April. 1792 of Alexander 

Hamilton Esqr. Ninety dollars which I promise to pay 

on demand 

James Reynolds 
90, Dollars 

No. XIV. 
Philadelphia, 7th, April. 1792. 
I am sorry to inform you my setivation is as such. I 
am indebted to a man in this town about 45. dollars 
which he will wate no longer on me. now sir I am 
Borrey to be troubleing you So Offen. which if you 
Can Oblige me with this to day. you will do me infe- 
nate service, that will pay Nearly all I owe in this town 
except yourself. I have some property on the North 
River wich I have Wrote to my Brother sell which as 
soon as it Come in my hands. I pay you every shilling 
with strictest Justice you Oblige me with, the inclose 
is the Receipt, for the amount 
I am sir with due Regard, your humble servant 

James Reynolds 
Alexr. Hamilton Esqr. 


Eeceived Philadelphia. 7th. April. 1792. of Alex- 
ander Hamilton Esqr. Forty five dollars which I pro- 
mise to pay on demand 

James Keynolds 
45 dollars 

No. XV 
Philadelphia, nth. April. 1792. 
I am sorry to be the barer of So disagreeable, an 
unhappy infermation. I must tell you Sir that I have 
bin the most unhappiest man. for this five days in 
Existance, Which you aught to be the last person I 
ever Should tell my troubls to. ever Sence the night 
you Calld and gave her the Blank Paper. She has 
treated me more Cruel than pen cant paint out. and 
Ses that She is determed never to be a wife to me any 
more, and Ses that it Is a plan of ours, what has past 
god knows I Freely forgive you and dont wish to give 
you fear or pain a moment on the account of it. now 
Sir I hope you will give me your advise as freely as if 
Nothing had eve passed Between us I think it is in 


your power to make matter all Easy again, and I sup- 
pose you to be that Man of fealling that you would 
wish to make every person happy Where it in you 
power I shall wate to See you at the Office if its Con- 
venant. I am sir with Asteem yours 

James Reynolds 
Alexr Hamilton Esqr. 

No. XVI. 

Philadelphia, 2M. April. 1792. 

I am sorry I am in this disagreeable sutivation 

which Obliges me to trouble you So o£fen as I do. but 

I hope it wont be long before it will be In my power 

to discharge what I am indebted to you Nothing will 

give me greater pleasure I must Sir ask the loan of 

thirty dollars more from you, which I shall esteem as 

a particular favour, and you may Rest ashured that I 

will pay you with Strickest Justice, for the Reliefe 

you have aforded me, the Inclosed is the Receipt for 

the thirty dollars. I shall wate at your Office. Sir for 

an answer I am sir your very Humble Servant 

James Reynolds. 
Alexr. Hamilton Esqr. 


No. XVII. 

Philadelphia, 2d May, 1792. 

I must now for ever forbid you of visiting Mrs. R 
any more I was in hopes that it would in time ware 
off, but I find there is no hopes. So I determed to 
put a finell end to it. if it sin my power, for I find by 
your Seeing her onely Renews the Friendship, and 
likewise when you Call you are fearful any person 
Should See you am I a person of Such a bad Carector. 
that you would not wish to be seen in Coming in my 
house in the front way. all any Person Can say of me 
is that I am poore and I dont know if that is any 
Crime. So I must meet my fate. I have my Reasons for 
it for I cannot be Reconsiled to it. for there is know 
person Can tell the pain it gives me except the were 
plased in my sutivation I am sure the world would 
despise me if the Onely new what I have bin Recon- 
siled to, I am in hopes in a short time to make you 
amends for your favour Renderedm e I am Sir your 

humble Servant. 

J. Reynolds 

Alexr. Hamilton Esqr. 



Saturday Morning the June 2 
Dear Sir 

I once take up the pen to solicit The favor of seing 
again oh Col hamilton what have I done that you 
should thus Neglect me Is it because I am unhappy 
But stop I will not say you have for perhaps you have 
caled and have found no opportunity to Come In at 
least I hope you have I am now A lone and shall be 
for a few days I believe till Wensday though am not 
sartain and would wish to se you this Evening I pose- 
ble If not as soon as you can make It Convenent oh 
my deer freend how shal I plede Enough what shal I 
say Let me beg of you to Come and If you never se me 
again oh if you think It best I will submit to It and 
take a long and last adieu Mari 

Col hamilton 

for heaven sake keep me not In suspince Let me 
know your Intention Either by a Line or Catline. 

No. XIX. 


I am now under the necessity of asking a favour 


from you Which if Can Oblige me with the loan of 
three Hundred dollars, it will be in my power to 
make five hundred Before the Next week is out. and 
if you Can oblege me with it. you may rely on haveing 
of it again the last of Next Week, if I am alive and 
well, the use I wont it for is to Subscribe to the turn 
pike Road, there js a number of gentleman in town 
wants me to go up to Lancaster to Subscribe for them, 
no sir if you Can oblige as I want to leve town tomor- 
row morning and the books will be open for subscrib- 
ing on monday morning Next, so that I shall have 
Little time to get there, you never Sir Can oblige me 
more than Complying with the above, please to let 
me know between this and 4 oClock if you dont I 
shant be able to go — ^from your Humble Sevt. 

James Reynolds. 
Alexr. Hamilton Esqr. 

No. XX. 

Philadelphia 23d June. 1792. 
Honnored Sir, 
Your Goodness will I hope overlook the present 


application you will infenately Oblige me if you Can 
let me have tlie Loan of fifty dollars, for a few days, 
what little money I had I put into the turnpike Scrip, 
and I dont like to sell At the low advance the are 
selling at. at present, as its very low. if you Can 
Oblige me with that much in the morning sir you 
shall have it in a short time again and you Will very 
much Oblige your Humble and Obed. Serv. 

J. R 

Alexr. Hamilton. Esq. 

NB. you will I hope pardon me in taking the liberty 
to call to day. but my Necessaty is such that it Oblige 
me to do it : Sunday evening. 

Received Philadelphia 24th June. 1792 of Alexan- 
der Hamilton Esq. Fifty Dollars, which I promise to 
pay on demand to the said Alexr. Hamilton or Order 
as witness my hand James Reynolds 

50 Dollars 


No. XXI. 

Philadelphia 24:th. August. 1792. 
Honored Sir. 
When I Conversed with you last I mentioned that 
I was going to moove. Sence that I have mooved I 
have taken a very convenant house for a boarding 
house, but being disappointed in receiving Some mo- 
ney, put it intirely out of my power to furnish the 
house I have taken. I have four genteal boarders will 
come to live with me, as soon as I Can get the Rooms 
furnished, dear Sir, this is my Setuvation. I am in no 
way of business, the Cash last lent me. inable me to 
pay my Rent, and some little debts I had Contracted 
for my Familys youse. now sir if I Can ask a favour 
once more of the loan of two Hundred dollars. I will 
give you Surity of all I process, for the payment of 
what I owe you. without your assistance, this time I 
dont know what I shall do. Mrs. Reynolds and my- 
self has made a Calculation, and find with that much 
money will inable us to take in four boarders, and I 
am in hopes in the mean time will, something will turn 
up in my favour, which will enable me to keep myself 


and famy. dear Sir your Complying with the above 
will for ever, lay me under the greatist Obligation to 
you and I will, you may Rest ashured. Repay it again 
as soon as it is in my power. 

I am Honored Sir with 
Respect your most Obedt. 
and Humble Servt. 

James Reynolds 
Vine Street No. 161 Second door 
from the Corner of fifth Street 
Alexr. Hamilton Bsqr. 

No. XXII. 

Philadelphia 80lh Aug. 1792. 
Honored Sir, 
you will I hope pardon me if I intrude on your 
goodness thinking the multiplycity of business, you 
have to encounter With, has been the cause of my 
not hereing from you. which induces me to write the 
Second time, flatering myself it will be in your Power 
to Comply with my Request, which I shall make it 


my whole Study, to Remit it to you as soon as its in 
my power your Compyance dear Sir will very much 
Oblige your most 
Obed. and Humble Servant. 

James Reynolds 
Vine street No. 161, one door from 
the Corner of Fifth Street. 
Alexander Hamilton, Esq. 


City of Pennsylvania, ss. 
Henry Seckel of the City aforesaid Merchant mak- 
eth oath that on or about the thirteenth day of No- 
vember in the year one thousand seven hundred and 
ninety two Jacob Clingman sent for this Deponent to 
the house of Hilary Baker, Esquire, then Alderman, 
that this Deponent went accordingly to the house of 
the said Alderman and was there requested by the 
said Jacob Clingman to become his bail which he did 
upon the promise of the said Clingman to deposit 
with him a sum in certificates sufficient to cover and 
secure him for so becoming bail — That the said Cling- 


man having failed to make the said deposit according 
to his promise this Deponent applied to the said Hil- 
ary Baker and obtained for him a warrant upon which 
the said Clingman was arrested and carried again to 
the said Hilary Baker — That said Clingman again 
urged this Deponent to become his bail but he de- 
clining said Clingman requested this Deponent to go 
and bring to him one James Reynolds from whom as 
this Deponent understood the said Clingman expected 
to obtain assistance towards his release from Custody 
— ^That this Deponent went accordingly to the said 
James Reynolds and in the name of Clingman en- 
gaged him to accompany the Deponent to the House 
of the said Alderman where the said James Reynolds 
was also apprehended and detained That thereupon 
the said James Reynolds requested this Deponent to 
carry a letter for him to Alexander Hamilton then 
Secretary of the Treasury — that this Deponent carried 
the said letter as requested and after two or three calls 
found the said Alexander Hamilton and delivered the 
letter to him — that the said Hamilton after reading 
it mentioned to this Deponent that he had known the 


father of the said Reynolds during the war with 
G-reat-Britain, and would be willing to serve the said 
James, if he could with propriety, but that it was not 
consistent with the duty of his office to do what Rey- 
nolds now requested ; and also mentioned to this De- 
ponent that Reynolds and Clingman had been doing 
something very bad and advised this Deponent to have 
nothing to do with them lest he might bring himself 
into trouble — And this Deponent further saith that he 
never had any conversation or communication what- 
ever with the said Alexander Hamilton respecting the 
said Reynolds or Clingman till the time of carrying 
the said letter. And this Deponent further saith that 
the said Clingman formerly lived with this Deponent 
and kept his books which as he supposes was the rea- 
son of his sending for this Deponent to become his 
bail thinking that this Deponent might be willing to 
befriend him. 


Sworn this 19th day of July ^ 
MDccxcvii before me I 

Hilary Baker, Mayor. 


No. XXIV. 

Having perused the fifth and fixtli numbers of a 
late publication in this City entitled "The History 
of the United States for the year 1796" and having 
reviewed certain letters and documents which have 
remained in my possession since the year 1792, 1 do 
hereby at the request of Alexander Hamilton Esquire 
of New York Certify and declare, 

That in the Month of December 1792, 1 was desired 
by Mr. Hamilton to be present at his house as the 
witness of an interview which had been agreed upon 
between himself and James Monroe, Frederick Au- 
gustus Muhlenberg and Abraham Venable, Esquires, 
with which I ac cordingly complied. 

The object of the interview was to remove from the 
minds of those Gentleman, certain suspicions which 
had been excited by suggestions of James Reynolds 
then in Prison and Jacob Clingman a Clerk to Mr. 
Muhlenberg, (against both of whom prosecutions had 
been instituted for frauds against the United States,) 
that Mr. Hamilton had been concerned in promoting 



or assisting speculation in the public funds, contrary 
to Law and his duty as Secretary of the Treasury. 

The conference was commenced on the part of Mr. 
Monroe by reading certain Notes from Mr. Hamilton 
and a Narrative of conversations which had been held 
with the said Reynolds and Clingman — After the 
grounds upon which the suspicions rested, had been 
fully stated, Mr. Hamilton entered into an explanation 
and by a variety of written documents, which were 
read, fully evinced, that there was nothing in the 
transactions to which Reynolds and Clingman had re- 
ferred, which had any connection with, or relation to 
speculations in the Funds, claims upon the United 
States, or any public or official transactions or duties 
whatever. This was rendered so completely evident, 
that Mr. Venable requested Mr. Hamilton to desist 
from exhibiting further proofs. As however an ex- 
planation had been desired by the Gentleman before 
named, Mr. Hamilton insisted upon being allowed to 
read such documents as he possessed, for the purpose 
of obviating every shadow of doubt respecting the 
propriety of his Official conduct. 


After Mr. Hamilton's explanation terminated Messrs. 
Monroe, Muhlenberg and Venable, severally acknowl- 
edged their entire satisfaction, that the affair had no 
relation to Official duties, and that it ought not to 
affect or impair the public confidence in Mr. Hamil- 
ton's character; — at the same time, they expressed 
their regrets at the trouble which the explanation 
had occasioned. During a conversation in the streets 
of Philadelphia immediately after retiring from Mr. 
Hamilton's house. Mr. Venable repeated to me, that 
the explanation was entirely satisfactory, and express- 
ed his concern, that he had been a party to whom it 
had been made. Though in the course of the conver- 
sation Mr. Venable expressed his discontent with pub- 
lic measures which had been recommended by Mr. 
Hamilton, yet he manifested a high respect for his 
Talents, and confidence in the integrity of his char- 

When Mr. Reynolds was in Prison, it was reported 
to me, that he had threatened to make disclosures in- 
jurious to the character of some head of a Depart- 
ment. This report I communicated to Mr. Hamilton, 



who advised me to take no steps towards a liberation 
of Reynolds while such a report existed and remained 
unexplained. This was antecedent to the interview 
between Mr. Hamilton and Messrs. Monroe, Muhlen- 
berg and Venable, or to any knowledge on my part of 
the circumstance by which it was occasioned. 

The Offence for which Reynolds and Clingman were 
prosecuted by my direction, was for suborning a per- 
son to com,mit perjury for the purpose of obtaining 
Letters of Administration on the estate of a person 
who was living. After the prosecution was commenc- 
ed, Clingman confessed to me, that he and Reynolds 
were possessed of lists of the names and sums due to 
certain Creditors of the United States, which lists had 
been obtained from the Treasury — Both Clingman 
and Reynolds obstinately refused for some time to de- 
liver up the lists or to disclose the name of the per- 
son, through whose infidelity they had been obtained. 
At length on receiving a promise from me, that I 
would endeavour to effect their liberation from the 
consequences of the prosecution, they consented to 
surrender the lists, to restore the balance which had 


been fraudulently obtained, and to reveal the name of 
the person, by whom the lists had been furnished. 

This was done conformably to the proposition con- 
tained in a letter from Clingman dated December 4, 
1792, of which a copy is hereunto annexed. The 
original letter and the lists which were surrendered 
now remain in my possession. Agreeably to my en- 
gagement I informed Jared Ingersol Esqr. Attorney 
General of Pennsylvania, that an important discovery 
had been made, and the condition by which it could 
be rendered useful to the public in preventing future 
frauds ; in consequence of which the prosecutions 
against Clingman and Reynolds were dismissed. 

In the publication referred to, it is suggested that 
the lists were furnished by Mr. Duer ; this is an in- 
jurious mistake — nothing occurred at any time to my 
knowledge, which could give colour to a suspicion, that 
Mr. Duer was in any manner directly or indirectly 
concerned with or privy to the transaction. The in- 
fidelity was committed by a clerk in the office of the 
Register — Mr. Duer resigned his office in March, 
1790, while the Treasury was at New York — the 



Clerk who furnished the lists was first employed in 
Philadelphia in January 1791. The Accounts from 
which the lists were taken, were all settled at the 
Treasury subsequent to the time last mentioned ; on 
the discovery above stated the Clerk was dismissed, 
and has not since been employed in the public offices. 
The name of the Clerk who was dismissed has not 
been publicly mentioned, for a reason which appears 
in Clingman's letter ; but if the disclosure is found 
necessary to the vindication of an innocent character 
it shall be made. 

Certified in Philadelphia, this twelfth day of 
July, 1797. 


Copy of a letter from Jacob Clingman, to the Comp- 
troller of the Treasury. 

Phila. 4 December, 1792. 
Having unfortunately for myself, been brought into 
a very disagreeable situation, on account of Letters of 
Administra,tion taken out by a certain John Delabar 


on the effects of a certain Ephraim Goodanough, who, 
it since appears, is still living. I beg leave to mention 
that I am ready to refund the money to the Treasury 
or to the proper owner or his order, and if it can be 
of any service to the Treasury Department or to the 
United States, in giving up the lists of the names of 
the persons to whom pay is due, and to disclose the 
name of the person in the utmost confidence from 
whom the list was obtained, earnestly hoping that 
may be some inducement to withdraw the action 
against me, which if prosecuted can only end in in- 
juring my character without any further advantage to 
the United States. 

I have the honor to be 

your most humble Servant 


Jacob Clingman. 
Hon. Oliver Wolcott, Esq. 



No. XXV. 

New- York July 5, 1797. 

In a pamphlet lately published entitled. " No. V. of 
the History of the United States for 1796 &c." are 
sundry papers respecting the affair of Reynolds, in 
which you once had an agency, accompanied with 
these among other comments. " They [certain at- 
tacks on Mr. Monroe] are ungrateful, because he dis- 
played on an occasion, that will be mentioned imme- 
diately, the greatest lenity to Mr. Alexander Hamilton, 
the prime mover of the Federal party. When some of 
the papers which are now to be laid before the world 
were submitted to the Secretary ; when he was inform- 
ed that they were to be communicated to President 
Washington he entreated in the most anxious tone of 
deprecation that the measure might be suspended. 
Mr. Monroe was one of the three gentlemen who 
agreed to this delay. They gave their consent to it on 
his express promise of a guarded behaviour in future, 
and because he attached to the suppression of these 

papers a mysterious degree of solicitude which they 



feeling no personal resentment against the individual, 
were unwilling to augment." Page 204 and 205. It 
is also suggested page 206 that I made " a volunteer 
acknowledgment of seduction" and it must be under- 
stood from the context that this acknowledgment was 
made to the same three gentlemen. 

The peculiar nature of this transaction renders it 
impossible that you should not recollect it in all its 
parts and that your own declaration to me at the time 
contradicts absolutely the construction which the 
editor of the Pamphlet puts upon the affair. 

I think myself entitled to ask from your candour 
and justice a declaration equivalent to that which 
was made me at the time in the presence of Mr. Wol- 
cott by yourself and the two other gentlemen accom- 
panied by a contradiction of the representations in the 
comments cited above — And I shall rely upon your 
delicacy that the manner of doing it will be such as 
one gentleman has a right to expect from another — 
especially as you must be sensible that the present 
appearance of the papers is contrary to the course 
which was understood between us to be proper, and 


includes a dishonourable infidelity somewhere — I am 
far from attributing it to either of the three gentle- 
men ; yet the suspicion naturally falls on some agent 
made use of by them. 

I send you the copy of a Memorandum of the sub- 
stance of your declaration, made by me the morning 
after our interview. 

With consideration 
I have the honor to be, 

Your very obed. servt. 

Alexander Hamilton. 

P. S. I must beg the favour of expedition in your 

Memorandum of Substance of Declaration of Messrs. 
Monroe, Muhlenberg and Venable concerning the af- 
fair of J. Reynolds. 

That they regretted the trouble and uneasiness 
which they had occasioned to me in consequence of 
the representations made to them — That they were 
perfectly satisfied with the explanation I had given 


and that there was nothing in the transaction which 
ought to affect my character as a public officer or 
lessen the public confidence in my integrity. 

No. XXVI. 

Philadelphia, December, 1792. 
On reflection, I deem it advisable for me to have 
Copies of the several papers which you communicated 
to me in our interview on Saturdey evening, including 
the notes, and the fragment of Mr. Reynolds' letter to 
Mr. Cling man. I therefore request that you will 
either cause copies of these papers to be furnished to 
me, taken by the person in whose hand-writing the 
declarations which you shewed to me were, or will 
let me have the papers themselves to be copied. It 
is also my wish, that all such papers as are original 
may be detained from the parties of whom they were, 
had, to put it out of their power repeat the abuse 
of them in situations which may deprive, me of the 
advantage of explanation. Considering of how abo- 


minable an attempt they liave been the instruments, 
I trust you will feel no scruples about this detention. 
With consideration, 

I have the honour to be, 

Your obedient Servant, 

F. Augustus Muhlenberg, -i 

James Monroe, and > Esquires. 
Abraham Venable, J 


PMlad. December 18th. 1792. 

I have communicated your letter of yesterday to 

Messrs. Venables and Monroe. The latter has all the 

papers relating to the subject in his possession, and I 

have the pleasure to inform you that your very 

reasonable request will be speedily complied with. I 

have the honor to be, with much esteem. 

Your most obedient, 

Humble Serv't, 


Alexander Hamilton, Esq. 



I have the honor to enclose you copies of the 
papers requested in yours a few days past — That of 
the notes you will retain; the others you will be 
pleased, after transcribing, to return me. 

With due respect, I have the honor to be, 
Your very humble Servant, 

Every thing you desire in the letter above-men- 
tioned shall be most strictly complied with. 

Philadelphia, Dec. 20, 1792. 
The Hon. Alexander Hamilton, Esq. 

No. XXIX. 

Philadelphia, July 10th, 1797. 
• Sir, 

As I not reside in the city at present, your letter of 

the 5th inst. did not reach me time enough to answer 

by Saturday's post. Whilst I lament the publication 

of the papers respecting the aftair of Reynolds (of 

which I hope I need not assure you that I had neither 



knowledge or agency, for I never saw them since the 
affair took place, nor was I ever furnished with a 
copy) I do not hesitate to declare that I regretted the 
trouble and uneasiness this business had occasioned, 
and that I was perfectly satisfied with the explanation 
you gave. At the same time permit me to remind 
you of your declaration also made in the presence of 
Mr. Wolcott that the information and letters in our 
possession justified the suspicions we entertained be- 
fore your explanation took place, and that our con- 
duct towards you in this business was satisfactory 
Having no share or agency whatever in the publicar 
tion or comments you are pleased to cite I must beg 
to be excused from making any remarks thereon. 
Were I to undertake to contradict the many absurd- 
ities and falsehoods which I see published on a 
variety of subjects which heretofore came under my 
notice, it would require more time than I am willing 

to sacrifice. 

I have the honor to be 


Your obedt. humble servt. 

Fredk. A. Muhlenberg. 
A. Hamilton, Esq[. 


No. XXX. 

Philadelphia, July 9th, 1797. 

I have received your letter of the fifth instant by 
the hands of Mr. Wolcott. 

I had heard of the pamphlet you mention some 
days before, but had not read it. I am entirely ig- 
norant of the Editor, and of the means by which he 
procured the papers alluded to. 

I have had nothing to do with the transaction 
since the interview with you, I do not possess a copy 
of the papers at present, nor have I at any time had 
the possession of any of them, I avoided taking a copy 
because I feared that the greatest care which I could 
exercise in keeping them safely, might be defeated 
by some accident and that some person or other might 
improperly obtain an inspection of them. I have en- 
deavoured to recollect what passed at the close of the 
interview which took place with respect to this trans- 
action ; it was said I believe by us in general terms, 
that we were satisfied with the explanation that had 
been given, that we regretted the necessity we had 



been subjected to in being obliged to make tbe in- 
quiry, as well as the trouble and anxiety it bad occa- 
sioned you, and on your part you admitted in general 
terms tbat tbe business as presented to us bore such 
a doubtful aspect as to justify the inquiry, and that 
the manner had been satisfactory to you. 

I have now to express my surprise at the contents 
of a letter published yesterday in Fenno's paper, in 
which you endeavour to impute to party motives, the 
part which I have had in this business, and endeavour 
to connect me with the releasement of persons com- 
mitted as you say for heinous crimes. Clingman had 
been released before I heard of the business, and 
Reynolds on the very day I received the first intima- 
tion of it, arrangements having been previously made 
for that purpose, by those who had interested them- 
selves to bring it about, so that no application was 
made to me on that subject, either directly or indi- 
rectly the object being entirely accomplished by 
other means, and before I was informed of their con- 
finement ; If you will take the trouble to examine 
the transaction you will find this statement correct, 



and you cannot be insensible of the injury you do me 
when you say, this was an attempt to release them- 
selves from imprisonment by favor of party spirit, and 
that I was one of the persons resorted to on that 
ground. I appeal to your candour, and ask you if 
any part of my conduct in this whole business has 
justified such an imputation. This having heen a 
joint business and Mr. Monroe living now in New- 
York, I must avoid saying any thing more on this 
subject until I can see him and Mr. Muhlenberg to- 
gether, which I hope will be in the present week. 
I am Sir Humble Servant 

Abm. B. Venable 


ME. Monrbe has the honor to inform Col. Hamilton 
that he arrived in this city yesterday a, m. 12 — That 
Mr. Muhlenberg and himself are to have a meeting 
this morning upon the subject which concerns him, 
and after which Col. Hamilton shall immediately hear 
from them. 

Monday morning, July 16, 1797. 



Philadelphia, July 17, 1797. 

It was our wish to have given a joint answer with 
Mr. Venable to your favour of the 5th instant con- 
cerning the publication of the proceedings in an in- 
quiry in which we were jointly engaged with him in 
1792, respecting an affair between yourself and Mr. 
Reynolds; and into which, from the circumstances 
attending it, we deemed it our duty to enquire. His 
departure however for Virginia precludes the possi- 
bility of so doing at present. We nevertheless readily 
give such explanation upon that point as we are now 
able to give ; the original papers having been deposited 
in the hands of a respectable character in Virginia 
soon after the transaction took place, and where they 
now are. 

We think proper to observe that as we had no 
agency in or knowledge of the publication of these 
papers till they appeared, so of course we could have 
none in the comments that were made on them. 

But you particularly wish to know what the im- 


pression was whicti your explanation of that afiair 
made on our minds, in the interview we had with you 
upon that subject at your own house, as stated in the 
paper No. 5, of the publication referred to ; and to 
which we readily reply, that the impression which 
we left in your mind as stated in that number, was 
that which rested on our own, and which was that the 
explanation of the nature of your connection with 
Reynolds which you then gave removed the suspi- 
cions we had before entertained of your being con- 
nected with him in speculation. Had not this been 
the case we should certainly not have left that im- 
pression on your mind, nor should we have desisted 
from the plan we had contemplated in the commence- 
ment of the inquiry, of laying the papers before the 
President of the TJ. States. 

We presume that the papers to which our signa- 
tures are annexed are in all cases correct. 'Tis pro- 
per however to observe that as the notes contained in 
No. 5. were intended only as memoranda of the ex- 
planation which you gave us in that interview, as 
likewise the information which was afterwards given 



us by Mr. Clingham on the same subject, and without 
a view to any particular use, they were entered con- 
cisely and without form. This is sufficiently obvious 
from the difference which appears in that respect, be- 
tween the papers which preceded our interview and 
those contained in No. 5, of the publication. 

We cannot conclude this letter without expressing 
our surprize at the contents of a paper in the Gazette 
of the United States of the 8th instant, which states 
that the proceedings in the inquiry in question, were 
the contrivance of two very profligate men who sought 
to obtain their liberation from prison by the favor of 
party spirit. You will readily recollect that one of 
those men Mr. Clingham was never imprisoned for 
any crime alledged against him by the department of 
the Treasury, and that the other Mr. Reynolds was 
upon the point of being released and was actually re- 
leased and without our solicitation or even wish, by 
virtue of an agreement made with him by that de- 
partment before the inquiry began. We feel too very 
sensibly the injustice of the intimation that any of 
us were influenced by party spirit, because we well 


know that such was not the case : nor can we other- 
wise than be the more surprized that such an intima- 
tion should now be given, since we well remember 
that our conduct upon that occasion excited your 
sensibility, and obtained from you an unequivocal 
acknowledgment of our candour. 

With consideration we are, Sir, 

your most obedient 

and very humble servants, 

Fredk. A. Muhlenberg. 

Jas. Monroe. 

I have your letter of this date. It gives me pleas- 
ure to receive your explanation of the ambiguous 
phrase in the paper No. V. published with your signa- 
tures and that of Mr. Venable, and your information 
of the fact, that my explanation had been satisfactory 
to you. 


You express your surprize at the contents of a paper 
in the Gazette of the U. States of the 8th instant. If 
you will review that paper with care, you will find, 
that what is said about party spirit refers to the view 
with which the accusation was instituted by Reynolds 
and Clingman, not to that with which the inq[uiry was 
entered into by you. They sought by the favor of 
party spirit to obtain liberation from prison — but tho' 
they may have rested their hopes on this ground it is 
not said, nor in my opinion implied, that you in mak- 
ing the inquiry were actuated by that spirit — I cannot 
however alter my opinion that they were influenced 
by the motive ascribed to them — ^For though, as you 
observe Clingman was not in prison (and so far my 
inemory has erred) and though it be true, that Rey- 
nolds was released before the inquiry began by virtue 
of an agreement with the Treasury Department (that 
is the Comptroller of the Treasury) for a reason of 
public utility which has been explained to you, — ^Yet 
it will be observed that Clingman as well as Reynolds 
was actually under a prosecution for the same offence, 
and that it appears by No. I. of the papers under your 


signatures, than for a period of more than three weeks 
while Clingman was in the act of soliciting the " aid 
and friendship of Mr. Muhlenberg on behalf of himself 
and Reynolds to get them released or discharged from the 
prosecution^^ he Clingman frequently dropped hints to 
Mr. Muhlenberg, that Eeynolds had it in his power 
very materially to injure the secretary of the Treasury 
and that Reynolds knew several very improper transac- 
tions of his ; — and at last went so far as to state that 
Reynolds said he had it in his power to hang the secretary 
of the Treasury who was deeply concerned in specula- 
tion." From this it appears, that the suggestions to 
my prejudice were early made, and were connected 
with the endeavour to obtain relief through Mr. Muh- 
lenberg — I derive from all this a confirmation of my 
opinion founded on the general nature of the proceed- 
ing that Reynolds and Clingman, knowing the exist- 
ence in Congress of a party hostile to my conduct in 
administration, and that the newspapers devoted to it, 
frequently contained insinuations of my being con- 
cerned in improper speculations, formed upon that 
basis the plan of conciliating the favour and aid of 


that party towards getting rid of the prosecution hy 
accusing me of Speculation. This is what I meant in 
the publication alluded to and what I must always 

With this explanation, you will be sensible that 
there is nothing in the publication inconsistent with 
my declaration to you at closing our interview. It is 
very true, that after the full and unqualified expres- 
sions which came from you together with Mr. Venable, 
differing in terms but agreeing in substance, of your 
entire satisfaction, with the explanation I had given, 
and that there was nothing in the affair of the nature 
suggested ; accompanied with expressions of regret at 
the trouble and anxiety occasioned to me — and when 
(as I recollect it) some one of the gentlemen expressed 
a hope that the manner of conducting the inquiry 
had appeared to me fair and liberal — I replied in sub- 
stance that though I had been displeased with the 
mode of introducing the subject to me (which you 
will remember I manifested at the time in very lively 
terms) yet that in other respects I was satisfied with 
and sensible to the candour with which I had been 



treated. And this was the sincere impression of my 

With Consideration 
I am Gentlemen 

Your most Obedt. and hum. serv. 

Alexander Hamilton. 

No. XXXV. 


I send herewith an answer to the joint letter of Mr. 
Muhlenberg and yourself. It appears to me on reflec- 
tion requisite to have some explanation on the note 
of January 2, 1793, with your signature only. It may 
be inferred from the attention to record the informa- 
tion of Clingman therein stated after what had passed 
between us that you meant to give credit and sanction 
to the suggestion that the defence set up by me was 
an imposition — You will, I doubt not, be sensible of 
the propriety of my requesting you to explain your- 
self on this point also. 

I remain with consideration 

Sir your obedient servant 

Alexander Hamilton. 




Philadelphia, July 17, 1797. 
It is impossible for me to trace back at this mo- 
ment, occupied as I am with other concerns, all the 
impressions of my mind at the different periods at 
which the memoranda were made in the publication 
to which you refer in your favour of to-day, but I well 
remember that in entering the one which bears my 
single signature, altho' I was surprized at the commu- 
nication given, yet I neither meant to give or imply 
any opinion of my own as to its contents. I simply 
entered the communication as I received it, reserving 
to myself the liberty to form an opinion upon it at 
such future time as I found convenient, paying due 
regard to all the circumstances connected with it. 
I am Sir with consideration 

your very humble servant 

James Monroe. 



Your letter of yesterday in answer to mine of the 
same date was received last night. I am sorry to say, 
that as I understand it, it is unsatisfactory — It appears 
to me liable to this inference that the information of 
Clingman had revived the suspicions which my expla- 
nation had removed. This would include the very 
derogatory suspicion, that I had concerted with Rey- 
nolds not only the fabrication of all the letters and 
documents under his hand but also the forgery of the 
letters produced as those of Mrs. Reynolds — since 
these last unequivocally contradict the pretence com- 
municated by Clingman. I therefore request you to 
say whether this inference be intended. 

With Consideration, I am. Sir, 

Your very obedient servant, 

Alexander Hamilton. 
Tidy 18, 1797. 
James Monroe, Esqr. 



Philadelphia, July 18, 1797. 
I can only observe that in entering the note which 
bears my single signature I did not convey or mean to 
convey any opinion of my own, as to the faith which 
was due to it, but left it to stand on its own merits 
reserving to myself the right to judge of it, as upon 
any fact afterwards communicated according to its 
import and authenticity. 

With due respect I am Sir 

Your very humble servant 
James Monroe. 


July 20, 1797. 
In my last letter to you I proposed a simple and di- 
rect question, to which I had hoped an answer equally 
simple and direct. That which I have received, 
though amounting, if I understand it, to an answer in 
the negative, is conceived in such circuitous terms as 


may leave an obscurity upon the point whicli ought 
not to have remained. In this situation, I feel it 
proper to tell you frankly my impression of the 

The having any communication with Clingman, af- 
ter that with me, receiving from him and recording 
information depending on the mere veracity of a man 
undeniably guilty of subornation of perjury, and one 
whom the very documents which he himself produced 
to you shewed sufficiently* to be the accomplice of a 
vindictive attempt upon me, the leaving it in a situa- 
tion where by possibility, it might rise up at a future 
and remote day to inculpate me, without the possibili- 
ty perhaps from the lapse of time of establishing the 
refutation, and all this without my privity or knowl- 
edge, was in my opinion in a high degree indelicate 
and improper. To have given or intended to give the 
least sanction or credit after all that was known to 
you, to the mere assertion of either of the three per- 

* See the letter from Reynolds to Clingman in which he declares 
that he will haTe satisfaction of me at all events and that he trusts 
only to Clingman. 


sons Clingman, Reynolds or his wife would have be- 
trayed a disposition towards me which if it appeared 
exist would merit epithets the severest that I could 


With consideration I am Sir, 

your very humble servant 

Alexander Hamilton. 
James Monroe, Esq. 

No. XL. 

Philadelphia, July 21, 1797. 

Your favour of yesterday (to use your own language) 
gives an indelicate and improper colouring to the 
topic to which it refers. I will endeavour in a few 
words to place the points in discussion where they 
ought to stand. 

It was never our intention other than to fulfill our 
duty to the public, in our inquiry into your conduct, 
and with delicacy and propriety to yourself nor have 
we done otherwise. 

To this truth, in respect to the inquiry, as to our 
conduct upon that occasion, you have so often assent- 


ed, that nothing need now be said on that point. In- 
deed I should have considered myself as highly crimi- 
nal, advised as I was of your conduct, had I not unit- 
ed in the inquiry into it: for what offence can be 
more reprehensible in an oificer charged with the 
finances of his country, than to be engaged in specu- 
lation ? And what other officer who had reason to sus- 
pect this could justify himself for failing to examine 
into the truth of this charge ? We did so — apprized 
you of what we had done — heard your explanation 
and were satisfied with it. It is proper to observe that 
in the explanation you gave, you admitted all the facts 
upon which our opinion was founded, but yet ac- 
counted for them, and for your connection with Rey- 
nolds on another principle. Tis proper also to ob- 
serve that we admitted your explanation upon the 
faith of your own statement, and upon the' documents 
you presented, though I do not recollect they were 
proved or that proof was required of them. 

You will remember that in this interview in which 
we acknowledged ourselves satisfied with the explana- 
tion you gave, we did not bind ourselves not to hear 



further information on the subject, or even not to 
proceed further in case we found it our duty so to do. 
This would have been improper, because subsequent 
facts might be disclosed which might change our 
opinion and in which case it would be our duty to 
proceed further. And with respect to Mr. Clingman 
we thought it highly proper to hear what he had to 
say, because we had before heard him on the subject, 
and because you had acknowledged all his previous 
information to be true, and because he was a party 
and had a right to be heard on it. You observe by the 
entry that we did not seek him, nor even apprize him 
of the explanation received from you, on the contrary 
that he sought us and in consequence of information 
received from Mr. Wolcott. 

The subject is now before the public, and I repeat 
to you what I have said before, that I do not wish any 
opinion of my own to be understood as conveyed in 
the entry which bears my single signature, because 
when I entered it I had no opinion upon it, as suflS- 
ciently appears by my subsequent conduct, having 
never acted upon it, and deposited the papers with a 




friend when I left my country, in whose hands they 
still are. Whether the imputations against you as to 
speculation, are well or ill founded, depends upon the 
facts and circumstances which appear against you up- 
on your defence. If you shew that they are ill found- 
ed, I shall he contented, for I have never undertaken 
to accuse you since our interview, nor do I now give 
any opinion on it, reserving to myself the liberty 
to form one, after I see your defence ; being resolved, 
however, so far as depends on me, not to bar the door 
to free inquiry as to the merits of the case in either 

This contains a just state of this aflfair so far as I 
remember it, which I presume will be satisfactory to 
you : and to which I shall only add that as on the one 
hand I shall always be ready to do justice to the 
claims of any one upon me, so I shall always be 
equally prepared to vindicate my conduct and char- 
acter against the attacks of any one who may assail 


With due respect, I am Sir, 

Your obedient servant, 

James Monroe. 


No. XLI. 
City of Philadelphia, ss. 
Mary Williams of the City aforesaid Boarding House 
Keeper maketh Oath that She is acquainted with Mrs. 
. M. Reynolds formerly reputed to be the Wife of Mr. 
James Reynolds that her acquaintance commenced 
by the said Mrs. Reynolds calling upon her to obtain 
admission as a lodger which the Deponent declined 
that afterwards the Deponent frequently saw the said 
Mrs. Reynolds and also frequently saw her write that 
from this she the Deponent conceives herself to be 
well acquainted with the hand writing of the said 
Mrs. Reynolds and is well satisfied that the hand 
writing of the letters hereunto annexed numbered 
I— VIII— IX— X— XII— Xni is of the proper hand 
writing of the said Mrs. Reynolds to indentify which 
letters the more particularly this Deponent hath upon 
each of them endorsed her name. 
Sworn this XXIst day of 

July MDccxcvn. be- ■ Mary Williams 

before me 
Robert Wharton 

One of the Aldermen of the 
City of Philadelphia. 


No. XLII. 
Wednesday 5th, December, 1792. 
Honnoured Sir, 
too well you are acquainted with my unfortenate 
setuvation, to give you an explanation thereof, I am 
informed by a Note from Mrs. Reynolds this Evening, 
wherein She informed Me that you have bin informed, 
that I Should have Said, if I were not discharged in 
two days, that I would make Some of the heads of the 
Departments tremble, now Sir I declare to god, that I 
never have said any Such thing, nor never have I said 
any thing, against any Head of a department whatever, 
all I have Said, Sir. is that I am under the Necessaty 
of letting you Know, which of the Clarks in the pub- 
lick Office has givein out the List, of the ballance due. 
from the United States, to the individual States, and 
when it Comes to your knowledge, that the would 
tremble. Now Can I have an Enemy So base as to 
lodge such False allegations to my Charge, which is 
tottely Groundless, and without the least foundation 
Immaginable. now Sir, if you will give me the plea- 
shure of waiting uppon your honour tomorrow I will 
give you every information that lies in my power Re- 


specting the Matter, which I hope it will give you 
final Satisfaction, what I have done never Was with a 
wish to Rong the United States or any Other person 
whatever, the person that Administer On this mans 
pay. which he Received from the United States, had 
my monies in his hands and would not transfer the 
Certificate to Mrs. Clingman and myself untill wee 
signed the bond of indamnification. to him now dear 
Sir. that was our Situvation. to Secure our own Inter- 
est, wee executed the Bond, which was an Oversight 
of ours, now Sir Can you Suppose In my present Se- 
tuvation, that I would say any thing against you Sir 
or any Other head of department whatever, where it 
even was in my power which was not. Espicially 
where all my hopes and Dependance where, now dear 
Sir, think of my poor innocent, family, not of me, for 
them I Onely wish to live 

I am, honnored Sir 

Your most Obediant and 
Humble Servt. 

James W, Reynolds 
Oliver Woolcot Esqr. 



Having seen in a pamphlet published in Philadel- 
phia entitled " The History of the United States No. 
5" a paragraph to the following Effect : 

" During the late Canvass for the Election of a Pre- 
" sident, Webster, in his Minerva, gave a Hint that 
" Mr. Hamilton would be an adviseable Candidate. 
" A person in this City who chanced to see this News- 
" Paper, wrote immediately to a correspondent in 
" New- York. The letter desired him to put himself 
" in the way of Mr. Hamilton and inform him that, if 
" Webster should in future print a single paragraph 
" on that Head, the papers referred to were instantly 
" to be laid before the World. The Message was de- 
"livered to Mr. Hamilton and the Minerva became 
« silent." 

I declare that the contents of the foregoing para- 
graph, as far as they relate to myself, are totally /aZse. 
I never entertained an idea that Mr. Hamilton was a 
Candidate for the Presidency or Vice-Presidency at 
the late Election. — I never uttered, wrote or pub- 
lished a Hint or Suggestion of the kind ; nor did I 


ever receive from Mr. Hamilton or any other person 
either directly or indirectly, any Hint or Communica- 
tion to discontinue any notice or Suggestions on that 
subject. I have examined the Minerva for several 
months previous to the late Election, and I cannot 
find a Suggestion published in that paper, of Mr. 
Hamilton's being a Candidate as aforesaid, either from 
any Correspondent or republished from any other 
paper; nor have I the least knowledge what the 
suggestions in the foregoing paragraph allude to. 

My own idea uniformly was, that Mr. Adams and 
Mr. Pinckney were the only Candidates supported by 
Mr. Hamilton and the friends of our Government in 

Sworn the 13th, July 1797. i 
before me Abm. Skinner N. P. ) Noah Webster Jun» 

No. XLIV. 

Philadelphia, June 27, 1797. 
It would have highly gratified me had it been in my 
power to furnish the relief you ask : but I am pre- 


paring for my departure and find, on -winding up my 
affairs, tliat I shall not have one dollar to spare. It 
is therefore with sincere regret I have nothing better 
to tender than the sentiments of good will of 

Your most obedient servant, 

Th. Jefferson. 

No. XLV. 
Philadelphia, June 28, 1797. 
I know well that you were a clerk in the Treasury 
Department while I was in the office of Secretary of 
State; but as I had no relation with the interior 
affairs of that office, I had no opportunity of being 
acquainted with you personally, except the single oc- 
casion on which you called on me. The length of 
time you were in the office affords the best presump- 
tion in your favour, and the particular misunderstand- 
ing which happened to you with your principals may 
account for your not having obtained from them those 
certificates of character which I am not able to sup- 


ply. I doubt not however that a knowledge of your 
conduct wherever you establish yourself will soon ren- 
der all certificates unnecessary, and I sincerely wish 
you may obtain employment which may evince and 
reward good conduct. 

I am, Sir, 

Your very humble servant, 

Th. Jefferson. 


I have maturely considered your letter of yesterday 
delivered to me at about nine last night and cannot 
find in it cause of satisfaction. 

There appears to me in the first place an attempt to 
prop the veracity of Clingman by an assertion which 
is not correct, namely that I had acknowledged all 
his previous information to be true. This was not 
and could not be the fact — I acknowledged parts of 
it to be true but certainly not the whole — on the con- 
trary, I am able to prove that a material part of it, 

according to its obvious intent, is false, and I know 



other parts of it to be so— Indeed in one sense I could 
not have made the acknowledgment alledged with- 
out acknowledging myself guilty. 

In the second place there appears a design at all 
events to drive me to the necessity of a formal defence 
while you know that the extreme delicacy of its na- 
ture must be very disagreeable to me. It is my opin- 
ion that as you have been the cause, no matter how, 
of the business appearing in a shape which gives it 
an adventitious importance, and this against the in- 
tent of a Confidence reposed in you by me, as con- 
trary to what was delicate and proper, you recorded 
Clingman's testimony without my privity and thereby 
gave it countenance, as I had given you an explana- 
tion with which you was satisfied and which could 
leave no doubt upon a candid mind it was incumbent 
upon you as a man of honour and sensibility to have 
come forward in a manner that would have shielded 
me completely from the unpleasant efiects brought 
upon me by your agency. This you have not done. 

On the contrary, by the affected reference of the 
matter to a defence which I am to make, and hj 


which you profess your opinion is to be decided — you 
imply that your suspicions are still alive. And as 
nothing appears to have shaken your original convic- 
tion but the wretched tale of Clingman, which you 
have thought fit to record, it follows that you are 
pleased to attach a degree of weight to that Commu- 
nication which cannot be accounted for on any fair 
principles. The result in my mind is that you have 
been and are actuated by motives towards me malig- 
nant and dishonourable ; nor can I doubt that this 
will be the universal opinion when the publication of 
the whole affair which I am about to make shall be 
seen. I am Sir, 

your humble Servant, 

Alexr, Hamilton. 
Philadelphia July 22. 1797. 

J. Monroe Esqr. 

No. XLVn. 

Philadelphia, July 25th, 1797. 

I received your letter of the 22d instant by Major 

Jackson and have paid it the attention it merits. 


Always anxious to do justice to every one, it would 
afford me pleasure could I answer it in a manner satis- 
factory to your feelings : but while the respect which 
I owe to myself forbids me replying in that harsh 
stile which you have adopted, that same respect with 
an attention to truth, according to the impressions 
existing on my mind, will compel me upon all occa- 
sions to place this affair on its true ground. 

Why you have adopted this stile I know not. If 
your object is to render this affair a personal one be- 
tween us you might have been more explicit, since 
you well know, if that is your disposition, what my 
determination is, and to which I shall firmly adhere. 
But if it is to illustrate truth and place the question 
on its true merits, as I have always been disposed to 
do, it appears illy calculated to promote that end. 

I have constantly said and I repeat again that in 
making an entry which appears after our interview 
with you, and which ought to have been signed by 
the other gentlemen as well as myself I never intend- 
ed to convey an opinion upon it, nor does it convey 
any opinion of my own, but merely notes what Cling- 


man stated, leaving it npon his own credit only. But 
you -wish me to state that this communication made 
no impression on my mind, and this I shall not state 
because in so doing I should be incorrect. On the 
other hand, I do not wish to be understood as intimat- 
ing that this communication had absolutely changed 
my opinion, for in that event I should have acted on 
it, whereas, the contrary was the case as you well 
know. And with respect to the propriety of noting 
down that communication, I have no doubt on that 
point, since I should have noted any other that might 
have been made on the same topic by that or any 
other party. Indeed if it was proper to note the com- 
munications first received, it was equally so to note 
this, and that you did not disapprove. Had we pro- 
ceeded in it you may be well assured we should have 
apprised of it, as in the other case, as well as from 
motives of candour towards you, as propriety on our 
own parts. 

It is not my wish to discuss the fact whether you 
admitted all or only parts of Clingman's communica- 
tion in our interview with you, because upon the prin- 


ciple in whicli I stand engaged in this afiair not as 
your accuser, but called on to explain, it is one of no 
importance to me. Such was the impression upon my 
mind ; if however the contrary were the case, and you 
shewed to be so, I should be equally contented as if it 
were otherwise, since it is my wish that truth appear 
in her genuine character, upon the present, as upon all 
other occasions. I am. Sir, with due respect 

Your obedient servant, 
James Monroe. 


New York, July 28, 1797. 
Your letter of the 25th instant reached me yesterday. 
Without attempting to analize the precise import 
of yotir expressions, in that particular, and really at a 
loss for your meaning when you appeal to my know- 
ledge of a determination to which you say you should 
firmly adhere, I shall observe, in relation to the idea 
of my desiring to make the affair personal between 
us, that it would be no less unworthy of me to seek 



than to shun such an issue. — It was my earnest wish 
to have experienced a conduct on your part, such as 
was in my opinion due to me, to yourself, and to jus- 
tice. Thinking as I did on the coolest reflection, that 
this had not been the case, I did not hesitate to con- 
vey to you the impressions which I entertained, pre- 
pared for any consequences to which it might lead. 

Nevertheless, it would have been agreeable to me 
to have found in your last letter sufficient cause for 
relinquishing those impressions. But I cannot say 
that I do — The idea is every way inadmissible, that 
Clingman^s last miserable contrivance should have had 
weight to shake, though not absolutely change the opin- 
ion which my explanation had produced ; and that 
having such an effect it should have been recorded 
and preserved in secret without the slightest intima- 
tion to me. There was a vast difference between what 
might have been proper before and after my explana- 
tion; though I am not disposed to admit, that the 
attention which was paid to such characters, even be- 
fore, would have been justifiable, had it not been for 
the notes in my handwriting. 



But the subject is too disgusting to leave me any 
inclination to prolong this discussion of it. The pub- 
lic explanation to which I am driven must decide, as 
far as public opinion is concerned, between us. Pain- 
ful as the appeal will be in one respect, I know that 
in the principal point, it must completely answer my 
purpose. I am, Sir, 

Your humble servant, 

Alexander Hamilton. 

No. XLIX, 

Philadelphia, Jvly 31, 1797. 

Your letter of the 28th which I have received claims 
a short answer. 

I have stated to you that I have no wish to do you a 
personal injury. The several explanations which I 
have made accorded with truth and my ideas of pro- 
priety. Therefore I need not repeat them. If these 
do not yield you satisfaction, I can give no other, un- 
less called on in a way which for the illustration of 
truth, I wish to avoid, but which I am ever ready to 


meet. This is what I meant by that part of my letter 

which you say you do not understand. 

With due respect I am Sir, 

Your humble servant, 

Alexander Hamilton, Esq. 

No. L. 
(Copy) New- York, August 4, 1797. 

In my opinion the idea of a personal affair between 
us ought not to have found a place in your letters or 
it ought to have assumed a more positive shape. In 
the state to which our correspondence had brought 
the question, it lay with you to make the option whe- 
ther such an issue should take place. If what you 
have said be intended as an advance towards it, it is 
incumbent upon me not to decline it. On the sup- 
position that it is so intended, I have authorized Ma- 
jor Jackson to communicate with you and to settle 

time and place. 

I am Sir, Your humble servt. 

Alexander Hamilton. 

James Munroe Esq. 



No. LI. 
Philadelphia, August, 6, 1797. 


I do not clearly understand the import of your let- 
ter of the 4th instant and therefore desire an expla- 
nation. With this view I will give an explanation of 
mine which preceded. 

Seeing no adequate cause by any thing in our late 

correspondence, why I should give a challenge to you, 

I own it was not my intention to give or even provoke 

one by any thing contained in those letters. I meant 

only to observe that I should stand on the defensive 

and receive one in case you thought fit to give it. If 

therefore you were under a contrary impression, I 

frankly own you are mistaken. If on the other hand 

you meant this last letter as a challenge to me, I have 

then to request that you will say so, and in which case 

have to inform you that my friend Col. Burr who will 

present you this and who will communicate with you 

on the subject is authorized to give my answer to it, 

and to make such other arrangements as may be suit, 

able in such an event. 

With due respect I am 

Your very humble servt. 

A. Hamilton Esq. James Monroe. 


No. LH. 

New-York, Aug. 9, 1797. 


The intention of my letter of the 4th instant as 
itself imports, was to meet and close with an advance 
towards a personal interview, which it appeared to me 
had been made by you. 

From the tenor of your reply of the 6th, which dis- 
avows the inference I had drawn, any further step on 
my part, as being inconsistent with the ground I have 
heretofore taken, would be improper, 

I am Sir, your humble servant, 

Alexander Hamilton. 

James Monroe Esq. 

N. B. It may be proper to observe that in addition to the original 
letters from Mrs. Reynolds, there are in the hands of the gentlemen 
with whom the papers are deposited, two original letters from her, one 
addressed to Mr. R. Folwell — the other to a Mrs. Miller, and both of 
them signed Mabia Clingman, in the former of which she mentions 
the circumstance of her being married to Clingman. 









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